Expedite Pak visa process

There is always a long queue of visa seekers in front of the Pakistan embassy in New Delhi. Tourists are less, but Indian Muslims wishing to meet their kith and kin in Pakistan are many. Visa is granted only the next evening, forcing one to stay in Delhi for at least two days.

Visa is not sent by post. Its validity is normally for 15 days from the date of issue (first day). Two days are wasted in Delhi and on the third day, the applicants return home. After two-three days, one goes to Amritsar to book the bus seat, but return for police verification, another lengthy procedure. One has to apply at the district headquarters. The process takes between four and eight days which involves verification from two village lamberdars or the city’s two nagar councillors.



The papers are sent to the district office, which issues certificate on that day or the day after. Normally, Saturday and Sunday intervene. But the matter does not end here. There is no daily bus service to Lahore and Nankana Sahib. And so the validity period in the visa expires. People leave the tour in the lurch. And the bus goes with a few or no passenger sometimes. Visa should be granted by post or Amritsar must have a visa centre. Otherwise, the Pakistan authorities should allow entry at the border. Secondly, police verification should be waived particularly when it is not required for tourists boarding from Delhi.

R.S. DHILLON, Advocate, Kapurthala

Victim of injustice

My son, T.N. Mehndi Ratta, passed B. Com examination from Kanpur University in 1981 bearing the Roll No. 8997. Surprisingly, however, the university authorities have not yet issued him the degree marks card and certificate. Even his result has not been formally declared though it was confirmed as “Passed”.

The authorities’ failure to issue the degree certificate has deprived my son of the opportunity to join the Indian Air Force. The Air Force Headquarters denied him commissioning as he could not produce the original certificate as required under the rules.

Several representations to the university authorities over the years have been in vain. The Governor of Uttar Pradesh forwarded my representation of March 4, 2004, along with all documents to the university Vice-Chancellor (vide his letter No. E 1417 GS, April 15, 2004) to pay suitable compensation, but his directive has not been complied with.

I have contacted the Vice-Chancellor and the Principal Secretary to the Uttar Pradesh Governor time and again over phone, fax and letters, but I have failed to get justice.

S.S. MEHNDI RATTA, (Ex-Serviceman), Panchkula

Kathlore bridge

The inauguration of the Kathlore bridge is the government’s first gift after Independence to the one lakh population who are living in a triangular area covered by the borders of Pakistan, India and the Ravi river. All political parties have been making claim for this bridge.

I belong to this area and I know its real condition. There is a lot to do for this region. This area is Punjab’s most neglected part. It is so backward that people outside this area avoid marriage proposals from this area. Political leaders visit this region only once in five years, i.e. during the elections.

The condition of the roads is so bad that vehicles move at a snail’s pace. I request the government to repair the roads instead of fighting over the bridge.


Ban on child labour

A child below the age of 14 years does not know that he had been freed from the bonds of child labour. Have the lawmakers thought the fate of thousands of homes where the kitchen fire does not burn if their children do not work?

The law should restrict the employment of children in hazardous activities like construction of roads, buildings and industry. A special provision may be made in the law for the children of both parents being disabled to do soft jobs at home with free education, medical facilities and free dinner as incentives at evening schools.

The government should also consider a special family pension if both parents are fully disabled and have no means of income.

Dr B.R. PARUTHI, Member, Indian Council of Child Welfare, Chandigarh

Neglected road

The 8-km Paprola-Andretta stretch is badly in need of improvement. The road is full of potholes. Nearly 300 vehicles comprising buses, tractors, cars, two wheelers, trucks and tourist buses ply on this road, but the state government is not bothered about its condition. Patches measuring nearly 500 meters at various places are not even metalled.

Last year, nearly 3-km road was tarred, but now it is full of potholes. This road leads to Leh. If one drives on this road from Baijnath to Maranda or Palampur, the distance gets reduced by about 30 minutes. That’s why people use this road instead of NH 21. The PWD authorities should do the needful.

BAIJNATH, (Kangra)

Gender bias

One rupee is being charged from each woman using toilets in the main bus stands of Punjab whereas men are exempted from this fee. Many a time, those not having the change are forced to suffer. Is it not an act of discrimination against women vis-à-vis men?

The state government has granted various concessions to women such as one per cent on all sale deeds, etc. Can’t it remove this petty fee which causes a lot of inconvenience to women bus passengers?

M.M. KAUSHAL, Lehra Mohabbat (Bathinda)

Appalling condition

The state of sanitation at ISBT, Kashmere Gate, in New Delhi is going from bad to worse. People are forced to pay for using urinals which are not maintained well. As sweepers don’t work in the nights, its condition gets worse. There is no authority to whom one can complain.

There is a need to improve sanitation at this bus stand so that tourists have a better impression about our country.

Lt-Col S.M. SHARMA, Mullana (Ambala)



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