NEW DELHI: Some Pakistani nationals belonging to Hindu and Sikh communities, who came on pilgrim visa, have not returned to their country fearing religious persecution, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said the government in 2015 had issued stringent conditions for grant of group pilgrim visa with groups being limited to 50. The group leader was made responsible for reporting to police.
"Pilgrim visa is granted to Pakistani nationals to visit religious shrines in India. It has been reported that some Pakistani nationals belonging to minority communities in Pakistan, mainly Hindus and Sikhs, who came to India on Group Pilgrim Visa have not returned to Pakistan on the ground of religious persecution in Pakistan," he said.
Rijiju said there were no specific inputs whether some pilgrims intentionally got lost.
"The Central government has issued detailed instructions on July 28, 2015 laying down stringent conditions for grant of Group Pilgrim Visa to minority communities in Pakistan to visit religious places in India," he said.
The minister said in each group the number of pilgrims is restricted to 50, with the group leader is responsible for police reporting for the entire group and also ensure that the members enter India, travel within the country and exit together.