Pakistani Hindus and their welfare today became a topic of discussion when the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju gave a written reply to question by Chhaya Verma in the Rajya Sabha.
The Minister said that in 2016, as per information available on this Ministry’s IVFRT (Immigration, Visa and Foreigner’s Registration & Tracking) online module, more than 12800 applications for Long Term Visa and more than 1200 applications for grant of citizenship to Pakistan minorities have been received across the country including Chhattisgarh.
Rijiju also said that the Ministry of Home Affairs has sensitized the States/UT Administrations to expedite the processing of LTV applications from Pak nationals and upload all applications for grant of LTV online only on IVFRT module for speedy processing.
Pakistani Hindus on India’s mind
He also mentioned that ss regards grant of Indian Citizenship to Pakistani minority migrants, Ministry of Home Affairs has delegated the powers to grant Indian Citizenship to District Magistrate of 16 districts of 7 States.
The Minister also said that the details of persons living on LTV in a particular State or UT Administration is not centrally maintained.
Pakistani Hindus have complained of harassment and persecution by Pakistani authorities and religious figures because of which they have made India their home. Many Pakistani Hindus are of Sindhi origin and are living in Rajasthan, Delhi, Mumbai, Chattisgarh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
The Indian government, increasingly worried about the welfare of Pakistani and Bangladeshi Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Christians, and Buddhists has relaxed Visa and LTV norms for which it has been attacked by liberal sections of Indian civil society as it has been seen as giving preferential treatment to non-Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh.