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Pakistani Hindus will get long-term visas, promises Centre

August 16, 2012 13:26 IST

With several hundred Pakistani Hindus arriving in India following alleged persecution, the government on Thursday said they will get long-term visas to stay in the country if they apply under the stipulated rules.

"So far, no one has applied for long-term visa. Basically, we have norms for the long-term visa. If they apply under them, they will get it," said Union Home Secretary R K Singh.

He was replying to a question on the possibility of India granting long-term visas to those Pakistani Hindus who have come to the country in the last few days.

Most of these people have come on a month-long visa ostensibly for pilgrimage and many of them have reportedly expressed their desire not to go back to Pakistan.

Almost all Pakistani Hindus, before leaving that country, had to give an undertaking to the authorities there that they would not seek asylum from the Indian government and that they would return to Pakistan within 30 days.

Anup Kumar, who is leading such a group, had alleged that Hindu families were not safe in Pakistan, since kidnapping of young Hindu girls and brides by fundamentalists at gunpoint had become a routine affair.

He did not rule out the possibility that majority of the community members would never like to go back to Pakistan under the prevailing circumstances.

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