IT was with half joy and half disappointment that I read in newspapers (Jan 15) that the ‘new visa regime’ had gone effective.

It was a moment of joy because, though not an ideal arrangement, it was nevertheless a great step forward in the direction of providing a semblance of rationality and compassion to the awful ordeal the members of divided families, especially elderly people, faced in meeting their kith and kin and friends of yesteryear living across the political divide.

It was a moment of sorrow because the new arrangement fell too short of the expectation of the people.

But before I could absorb the impact it would have on the people concerned, we are informed later that the prime minister of India, in his wisdom, has thought it fit to roll back the entire scheme following the border skirmishes in Kashmir If the prime minister of India considers that by suspending the ‘yet to be enforced’ new visa regime he is punishing the Pakistani government or the Pakistani armed forces, who in his view are responsible for these skirmishes, he is sadly mistaken.

The Pakistan government and its armed forces have the least stakes in the enforcement of the new visa regime and they will not feel its pinch.

The pinch will be felt by the ordinary people of India and Pakistan of the undivided families and these ordinary people have nothing to do with the current border skirmishes along the Line of Control.

May God give him the wisdom to look at his decision dispassionately.


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Comments (20)

January 19, 2013 9:46 pm
I agree, no Indian is looking forward to a dangerous trip to Pakistan, the question of a pinch for the Indians is completely redundant.
January 20, 2013 4:15 pm
Yes when they invited Paktistan players to India.
January 19, 2013 9:46 pm
Great.............If the regime and the armed forces can NOT understand the plight of the common people as stated by you..Do they deserve to remain where they are..????????
January 19, 2013 5:51 pm
I am wondering when sanity will prevail between the two nations which are hostage to suspicion and mutual distrust. There is enough hatred in the world, let us not increase or sustain it. Let humanity prevail over religion or sectarianism.
raja hindustani
January 20, 2013 6:05 pm
India accepted the partition and this is the reason Indian people do not have any hatred towards Bangladesh...but Pakistan still considered as enemy state by most of the Indian due to mistrust between people of both country. I think most of Pakistanis still believe that indians & pakistanis are totally different and they can't live together (so that partition can be justified). Untill this mindset doesn't change, peace between two country is not possible
January 19, 2013 4:03 pm
I do not understand this. I know India wanted to bring about a new Visa regime and it suspended it for whatever reason. But I have not heard Pakistan wanting to bring about a new Visa regime. So is it only India does this and Pakistan does not extend the facilities to Indians, just like the MFN status which India gave to Pakistan decades ago but which Pakistan refuses to reciprocate still?
January 19, 2013 4:32 pm
By restricting the visas and hardening the process is playing into the hands of the terrorists,who want exactly the same. They want to cut off Pakistan from the rest of the world ,specially India.Because India is a true practising democracy,and this is what the terrorists do not want in Pakistan. Mr.Prime Minister,you may gain a few votes of the extremist groups,but in the long run it will hurt India.We should not even have a VISA requirement. I think visa is a source of maintaning each others embassies . But look at the big picture.
January 19, 2013 2:14 pm
No real Indian will feel the pinch. We will be safer if we completely cut off relations with Pakistan. What good has it done for us?
January 19, 2013 8:24 am
Good decision by India. India has to show displeasure that hurts Pakistan. And why not - Pakistani forces / militants shouldn't be allowed to commit such heinous acts. Try doing this to Iran or the US and see what the result would have been.
January 19, 2013 8:18 am
Ordinary people in Pakistan are not paying taxes - less than 9% do.
Muhammad Ashraf
January 19, 2013 10:59 am
What goodness you see in this decision? pl tell in plain words without being partial. thanks
January 19, 2013 11:55 am
Of course. Does India ever make a bad decision?
January 19, 2013 1:43 pm
I am surprised that the Indian govt was even thinking about liberalising visa. It would just have made it easier for terrorists to enter India. Unfortunately, govts in India worry too much about Muslim votes and are quite capable of jeopardising security to appease vote banks. If Muslims are so concerned about keeping families united, all members of the family should seek citizenship of one country, preferably Pakistan (where they can be free and safe and don't have to pretend that they like secularism).
January 20, 2013 11:20 pm
well , I am looking forward for a trip to Pakistan. I plan to visit Lahore and Islamabad and if security situation is good may be Karachi as well. But I want to wait for the elections and once political situation stabilizes may later half of 2013 will be a suitable time.
January 19, 2013 6:56 am
Indians and Pakistanis hate each other. Why is so much time and money wasted in improving relations is beyond me.
C. Nandkishore
January 19, 2013 12:25 pm
Not a good decision.
January 19, 2013 1:56 pm
I think as a self respecting nation, pakistanis should not show any keenness for visiting India as that country is not willing to accept pakistanis visitors at present.
January 19, 2013 5:01 am
Ahmed Sultan (India)
January 19, 2013 4:44 am
The pinch will be felt by the ordinary people of India and Pakistan of the undivided families and these ordinary people have nothing to do with the current border skirmishes along the Line of Control. But its ordinary people money being used by armed forces as ordinary people pay taxes.
Feroz sethi
January 19, 2013 4:33 am
Good decision by India.
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