- The Home Ministry has liberalized the process of granting long-term visas(LTVs) to minorities from Pakistan , Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
2. The issue came on light because of harassment caused to Pakistani Hindu migrants for visa extension, visa transfer and grant of citizenship.
3. The Ministry has reduced the time limit for security clearance of applications form 45 days to 21 days.
4. After an application comes to the central system, it is forwarded to three agencies for verification- State government, the Intelligence Bureau, and the MHA.
5. Once, the replies from all three agencies are fed in the system, the application is automatically processed.
6. As per the Home Ministry, since 2011, nearly 30,000 Pakistanis had been granted LTVs. Presently, 1,500 such applications are still pending.
7. As per the state governments report, the LTVs are precursors to citizenship.
8. The Visa facility, first introduced in 2011 for persecuted Hindus from Pakistan.
9. The LTVs granted to Pakistan’s Hindu from 2011 to 2014 stood at approx 14,000.
10. In 2015, the government granted concessions to Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and Afghanistan nationals belonging to the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Christian and Jain communities who entered India on or before Dec 31.
11. The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2015, proposes citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis,, Christians and Buddhists from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who came to India before 2014 has hit a hurdle.
12. There has been strong resistance to Bill in Assam as it seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh.
13. The Bill will pave way for granting citizenship to illegal Hindu immigrants from Bangladesh in Assam in violation of the Assam Accord, 1985.
14. As per the official figures, around 2 lakh Hindu and Sikh refugees from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan living in India.
15. There are around 400 Pakistani Hindu refugees’ settlements in cities like Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Jaipur.
16. Hindu refugees from Bangladesh mostly live in West Bengal and the northeastern States.