More than 250 Pakistani nationals presently living in Rajkot made representations and submitted their complaints to officers of Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Gujarat home department at a two-day camp that concluded in Rajkot on Friday.
“More than 250 people met us with their complaints about seeking Indian citizenship and long term visa (LTV). We shall look into them. The very objective of the camp is to speed up the process of disposing of such applications,” Pravin Horo Singh, director of foreigners division of MHA, who presided over the camp, told The Indian Express.
Singh further said that majority of the Pakistani national who visited the camp had grievances related to LTV. Rajkot district officials said that 57 Pakistani nationals living presently in Rajkot have applied for Indian citizenship and that their applications were being processed.
“The government gave some relaxations in November 2014 to Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals who are religious minorities in their countries and are living in India like doing away with mandatory requirement of applying only online for citizenship etc. Many people do not know about this and these camps are an effort to reach out to such people,” said Singh.
The foreigners division of MHA deals with all matters relating to visa, immigration, citizenship etc. Similar camps have already been organiesd in Ahmedabad and Surat. The team will hold a camp in Bhuj town of Kutch district on Saturday followed by one in Patan district.
MHA officials said such camps had previously been organised in nine other states of the country.
More 250 Pakistani Hindus are living in Rajkot and around 15 of them have been granted Indian citizenship over the last two years.
Officials said that religious minorities from Pakistan and Bangladesh living in India can apply for Indian citizenship only after living in India for seven years on LTV.