I AM surprised to read Mirza Zafar Ahmad’s letter ‘Visiting India’ (March 31) in which he has described his positive experience in getting visit visa for Lucknow.
This is just the opposite to what I and many other intending visitors to India experienced in February 2018. I am 85 years old and wanted to visit my relations in Lucknow.
I and my wife obtained sponsors letters along with necessary certification from the government officers in India. I filled most tedious online three-page forms and submitted visa application to the Indian consulate in Houston.
Although I am a US citizen, I was asked to apply on the Pakistani passport. After almost two months waiting, our passports were returned without a visa and without being given reason for denial. During the same period my daughter too applied for visa from Los Angeles. She was also refused visa.
Another family at that time wanted to attend the wedding of close relations in Mumbai and Delhi. They applied for visas from Canada, the US and Pakistan. Except my son-in-law, who applied from Los Angeles, nobody was granted visa.
At least senior citizens who have only a few years to live should be allowed to visit their relations and friends in India.
Austin, Texas, USA
Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2019