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Location: Home arrow Library of Articles arrow Articles arrow Pakistani Sikhs for nuptial ties with Indian Sikh families

Pakistani Sikhs for nuptial ties with Indian Sikh families   E-mail 

AMRITSAR:  Sikh families in Pakistan are keen for wedding of their children with Indian Sikh families but visa restrictions are the big hurdle for them.

Talking to on Thursday, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbanhak Committee (PSGPC) President Bishan Singh said, "Numerous Pakistani based Sikh families are highly keen to solemnize the marriage of their children with Indian Sikh families and similar state of affairs with the Indian Sikhs".

"But practically it is very difficult for Sikh families of both nations due to restricted visa system. Unless, both the Government open the international border, the people to people contact is mere paper talk and nothing else", said Bishan Singh.

Bishan Singh said, "I am camping here in the Golden Temple for the last two days and during my two days stay, many Indian families approached me with the wish for nuptial knots of their children with Pakistani Sikh families and also given proposal for their sons and daughters".

"Sikh families who have come with me from Pakistan were immensely happy with the proposals given by the Indian Sikh families but scared from the unstable Indo-Pak visa policy. It is Hercules task to visit India from Pakistan individually and similarly with the Indians, since both the Governments prefer to give visa to group of people or delegation", said Bishan Singh.

Bishan said, "My close relatives from my father's family living in Amritsar near the Golden Temple and they were turning pillar to post to get visa to visit Pakistan from the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi but not granted as embassy officials prefer to grant visa to group of people. In such circumstances how one could dare wedding of their children across the border".

"Even I have attempted many times to come India but I was not granted visa. When I became the president of PSGPC, I was allowed to visit India on pilgrimage visa, otherwise for me to visit India as a ordinary Pakistani Sikh was a distant dream. My cousin brothers and sisters and my uncle living in India in the holy city of Golden Temple have strong wish to visit in my house but visa problem always make them demoralized",  Bishan Singh quipped.

Another Sikh member of PSGPC and Head Priest of Gurdwara Nankana Sahib (birth place of founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev) Rawail Singh who has come Indian with Bishan Singh said, "His numerous close families are living in Amritsar. The most unfortunate thing is that no one from
our families could visit to each others frequently, not even on the eve of death and marriage".
Adding further Rawail Singh said, " Recently their was a marriage in our families in Pakistan and my Indian based relatives applied  die hard efforts for visa to Pakistan but all in vain. Even last year, attempted fort visa to  visit Indian when my Uncle died but visa was  not granted since embassy objection was that visa could not be granted to any individual. This is the present state of  affairs between Indian and Pakistan and how we can come closer to each others in such circumstances!"

Bishan Singh said, "We can dare to think about the wedding of our children in London or Canada and other foreign countries, since one can come and go individually and very easily but cannot dare for the same thing with India".

Bus service between India and Pakistan are the glaring example, since buses come and   goes empty except three of four passengers. The reason behind the less number of passengers is visa problem", said Rawail Singh.

Moreover, it is not easy job to travel from Lahore to Islamabad with the road distance of 500 kilometers to attempt for visa and similarly for Amritsar based Sikh families to visit Delhi from Amritsar with 500 kilometers for visa. However, nobody knows how many visits one has to pay for visa. Even one cannot be sure for visa  after numerous visits to embassy concerned", said Rawail Singh.
By Jagmohan Singh

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