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Pak Hindus rue short-term visa, want to visit Haridwar 

Amritsar: Mala and Shamiya, members of a visiting group of Pakistani Hindu pilgrims, are disheartened for not being allowed to visit Haridwar to immerse the ashes of their relatives in the Ganga.The pilgrims had arrived here on February 12 on a four-day visa. Most of them are from Pakistan’s Sindh province.Shamiya has brought the ashes of her mother, who passed away in December last year, to immerse it in the Ganga in Haridwar. Similarly, Mala brought the ashes of her mother-in-law, who passed away about six months ago.The pilgrims are putting up at Durgiana temple’s dharmshala. Mukesh Rana, their representative, said: “The visa for just four days is insufficient as they could not complete their pilgrimage. While one day was consumed in travel, documentation and checking at the Attari-Wagah joint check post, for the past three days, they were not allowed to move out of the city.” He claimed that Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had assured them of visa to visit Haridwar, Delhi and Mumbai.A local BJP leader, Salil Kapoor, who interacted with the pilgrims, said he had talked to state BJP chief Vijay Sampla over the phone. He said Sampla had assured him that he would take up the matter with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj.

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