At least 200 Hindu families in Karachi have been waiting for the last 20 years to immerse the ashes of their departed family members in the Ganga at Haridwar with the Indian High Commission in Pakistan not granting visas to them.
Tired and disappointed, these families have now turned to the Indian chapter of South Asia Fraternity (SAF) for help through its Pakistan chapter.
Giving this information here on Thursday, SAF's India chapter Secretary General Satya Paul said the organisation had received a request from its Pakistan chapter on behalf of these Hindu families asking it to take up the issue with the Indian authorities.
Acting on the request, SAF (India) has submitted a petition to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, urging them to issue necessary directives to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad to relax the visa rules for these families on humanitarian grounds, Paul said.
SAF (India) Secretary General said that the Indian High Commission was denying visas to the Karachi-based Hindus on the ground that they did not have families in Haridwar to sponsor their stay in the pilgrim city, which is a necessary formality for issuing visas.