Skip to content

India and Pakistan: Let people meet

September 2, 2012

This online petition has been put out by AMAN KI ASHA

The people of Pakistan and India, people of Indian and Pakistani origin around the world, and friends of India and Pakistan, are fed up of the visa restrictions that prevent them from visiting families in the other country. There isn’t even a tourist visa protocol between these two biggest neighbours of South Asia. People in the region want the right to travel and to trade, to walk along coastlines and roads that represent their collective past, to seek and spread harmony across a subcontinent not divided by politics and propaganda. In this modern age of interdependence, it is a tragedy that the citizens of India and Pakistan are left peering over a border made indomitable and intimidating. There is little space for the hand of friendship to be extended across this border. This must change.

The governments of India and Pakistan must: 

  • Allow long-term visas, especially to people with families and spouses across the border and to applicants who meet the visa criteria;
  • Allow tourist visas between India and Pakistan;
  • Make police reporting on arrival and departure the exception rather than the rule;
  • Do away with the requirement of entry and exit from the same point, using the same mode of transport;
  • Allow visas to be valid for the entire country (subject to reasonable restrictions) rather than one or two cities;
  • Immediately reopen the Mumbai and Karachi consulates, and consider opening more consulates in major cities;
  • Make student visas freely available;
  • Curtail unnecessary paperwork;
  • Ease visa restrictions for citizens of other countries who are of Indian or Pakistani descent, dual nationals, or expatriates from each other’s countries.

In addition, the governments must do away with restrictions that are completely outdated in today’s cyber world, and to:

  • Allow more than two journalists each to be based in each other’s countries;
  • Undo the ban on cell-phone roaming;
  • Undo the ban on cross-border media, television and publications.

The authorities must refrain from trying to control the movements of their people, when their minds are free. It is mutual trust and genuine collaboration that will enable us to break from the past and repudiate the legacy of hatred and animosity. We can truly progress when ideas and art, business and tourism, and collaboration in the fields of health, sustainability and poverty alleviation are allowed to flourish and flow. Only then can our people and countries reach their full potential.

Petition Letter

Greetings,

I just signed the following petition addressed to: Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan.

—————-
Milne Do: Ease visa restrictions, let the people meet.

We, the people of India and Pakistan, and of Indian and Pakistani descent living in other countries, demand the right to visit our families across the border in ‘the other country’ – to see our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and, in some cases, our children. We demand the right to travel in the countries of our ancestors, to walk along coastlines and roads that represent our collective past, to seek and spread harmony across a subcontinent not divided by politics and propaganda. In this modern age of interdependence, it is a tragedy that the citizens of India and Pakistan are left peering over a border made indomitable and intimidating. There is little space for the hand of friendship to be extended across this border. We demand that this be changed.
We, the people, urge the governments of India and Pakistan to:

• Allow long-term visas, especially to people with families and spouses across the border and to applicants who meet the visa criteria;
• Allow tourist visas between India and Pakistan;
• Make police reporting on arrival and departure the exception rather than the rule;
• Do away with the requirement of entry and exit from the same point, using the same mode of transport;
• Allow visas to be valid for the entire country (subject to reasonable restrictions) rather than one or two cities;
• Immediately reopen the Mumbai and Karachi consulates, and consider opening more consulates in major cities;
• Make student visas freely available;
• Curtail unnecessary paperwork;
• Ease visa restrictions for citizens of other countries who are of Indian or Pakistani descent, dual nationals, or expatriates from each other’s countries.

In addition, we urge the governments to do away with restrictions that are completely outdated in today’s cyber world, and to:

Allow more than two journalists each to be based in each other’s countries;
• Undo the ban on cell-phone roaming;
• Undo the ban on cross-border media, television and publications.

The authorities must refrain from trying to control the movements of their people, when their minds are free. It is mutual trust and genuine collaboration that will enable us to break from the past and repudiate the legacy of hatred and animosity. We can truly progress when ideas and art, business and tourism, and collaboration in the fields of health, sustainability and poverty alleviation are allowed to flourish and flow. Only then can our people and countries reach their full potential.

Sign the petition.

Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 55,334 other followers

%d bloggers like this: