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Visa relaxation may not bring many Pakistanis to Mohali

Anita Joshua


Less than 150 visas had been issued for cricket season

Too late for High Commission to entertain applications


ISLAMABAD: However much India may now relax visa requirements to allow Pakistanis to get to Mohali in time for the India-Pakistan semi-final match of the cricket World Cup on Wednesday, not more than a few 100 will get there.

Getting a visa to either country is such a Herculean task that few even attempt it. Before the semi-final match between India and Pakistan became a certainty, less than 150 visas had been issued by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad for the cricket season. This includes the players, their families and members of the Pakistan Cricket Board.

And now, when the High Commission has decided to entertain applications at the eleventh hour and issue visas to persons whose bona fides are known — those who have visited India previously and gone through the security drill once in the past — it is a tad too late.

In fact, officials at the High Commission are a bit surprised, if not a tad disappointed, that there has not been a surge in applications after Pakistan got closer to the World Cup. But now it seems that more than the Indian visa, tickets to the Mohali match have become dear.

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