ISLAMABAD: Ending their two-decade-long wait, India has finally agreed to issue visas to a large number of Hindus living in Sindh, Pakistan, so that they can immerse the ashes of their loved ones in the Ganga at Hardwar.
The Pakistan Hindu Foundation (PHF) launched a struggle in 2008 to persuade the Indian government to simplify the visa procedure for Pakistani Hindus, especially those in Sindh. PHF also approached the Pakistan government for help. Its efforts have finally yielded result, with India announcing that all Hindus living in Karachi will be issued visas so that they can perform the final rites of their kin and immerse their ashes in the Ganga. Hindus in Karachi welcomed the decision but rued all Pakistani Hindus did not have access to the holy river. PHF president DM Maharaj too hailed the decision, but said the announcement was unjust and visas should be extended to all Hindus of the province, especially those living in Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Tharparkar and Sanghar districts. "Hindus occupy 230 residential colonies in Karachi since the time of the British, but the Pakistan government is still to legalise these colonies. We strongly demand that a lease be granted," he said.