Current Affairs

India denies visas to Hajj aspirants

SRINAGAR: Hundreds of aspiring Hajj pilgrims who had deposited their money with private tour operators are upset as the Indian Ministry of External Affairs is not allocating the due quota to occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Sources said the Ministry of External Affairs has so far issued visas and passports to 200 pilgrims, leaving some 400 other disturbed. The private tour operators say they should not be blamed. “We deposited money with the Ministry of External Affairs and once they accepted the money that means they assured us that the state would be given its due quota,” a tour operator from Mumbai told Greater Kashmir over phone.

He said 47,000 pilgrims from India would go for Hajj this year through private travel operators. “And Jammu and Kashmir should have 4.8 percent according to the quota. That means 2200-2300 pilgrims,” he said. He said instead the Ministry of External Affairs only gave visas and passports to 200 pilgrims for Jammu and Kashmir.

The tour operators described the MEA’s allocation for Jammu Kashmir as sheer injustice and asked the state government to take the matter at highest level.“If the visas are not issued till Tuesday then it is impossible for the pilgrims to go for Hajj,” said the Tour Operator. Earlier, the Tour Operators had called on the Minister for Water Resources Professor Saifuddin Soz who, according to them, had assured them he would ensure that a large number of allocation be given to Jammu and Kashmir.“But so far nothing has happened,” said the tour operators, appealing to Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to take up the matter with the MEA.-SANA

About the author

Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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