The number of visa applications for Pakistanis travelling to India that have been refused has reached a rate of 17-19%. 8.5% of those are rejected by Indian security whist a similar number are rejected by the Union Home Ministry. The figures released by the security agencies and MHA office reveal that the highest number of rejections were the refusal by sponsors to host those travelling from Pakistan.
Regulations on the visa arrangements between the two countries requires a sponsor certificate to be countersigned by a government official in India certifying that they know personally the sponsor in India.
A letter from Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale to the Indian Home Secretary had suggested that more than 50% of visa applications from Pakistan were being rejected. He had requested the research to be carried out as to why the figures were so high. At the same time he also requested that facilities at the Wagah-Attari border to upgraded as overcrowding was becoming unacceptable. This is the only immigration point on the entire border that grants visas to immigrants from Pakistan to India on arrival. At the entry point the government also grants visas for business, pilgrimages, medical and conference visas. Reports are that applications are received in large numbers.
Increased security checks have led to a massive number of travellers arriving at the border post each day and overcrowding is a serious issue.
There had been a reduction in the number of visa applications from Pakistan since Indian army strikes across the border late last year but applicants are expected to rise back to the previous high levels very soon.
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