Around 30,000 Pakistani refugees, mostly Hindus have been granted Long Term Visas (LTVs) since 2011, the Economic Times has reported. They will now be able to get PAN cards and Aadhar cards, as well as buy property in India.
The number of visas granted in last three and a half years since 2015, is more than the number of visas granted between 2011 to 2014, during the UPA regime. 14,726 Pakistani nationals were provided LTVs between 2011 and 2014.
This year alone, 6,092 Pakistani nationals have been given LTVs, which is more than the previous year. In 2015, the process of applying for LTV was made online. Since then, 2,142 Pakistanis were given LTVs in 2015, 2,298 in 2016 and as many as 4,712 in 2017. Nearly 15,000 LTVs have been issued since 2015.
LTVs are given to minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who have come to India with valid documents seeking refuge. Minority communities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh include Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians.
Those who have obtained LTVs are eligible to get driving license, PAN card, Aadhar Card and do business. They are also allowed to migrate and transfer their visas from one state to another. However, they are forbidden from purchasing immovable properties around restricted areas.
It is further reported that around 1,500 LTV applications are pending with the home ministry for approval.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that Pakistani Hindu refugees in India will be treated like any other Indian citizen in his run up to Lok Sabha elections in 2014. “We have a responsibility towards Hindus who are harassed and suffer in other countries. India is the only place for them. We will have to accommodate them here,” Modi had said.
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