By Brian Wheeler, Political reporter The right to settle in Britain should be auctioned off to wealthy foreign investors, government advisers say. At present migrants can gain entry by investing £1m or more in the UK. Read more » BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26334978
Visa-free entry will be allowed via 11 Russian airports.
The Russian government may soon waive the visa requirement for foreign tourists arriving in Russia by train who intend to stay in the country 72 hours or less. A bill proposing such an initiative has been submitted to the Russian State Duma. The initiative is backed by several Russian government agencies, including the Ministry of Transportation, the Economic Development Ministry, the Regional Development Ministry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Migration Service and the Federal Tourism Agency.
‘Sindhi’s should be exempted from visa for visiting Pakistan’
INDORE: Sindhi community on Sunday demanded that Sindhis of India and Pakistan should be exempted from getting visa for visiting each others’ countries.
The demand was raised on the third and last day of International Sindhi Conference in Indore. They urged the governments to relax visa rules so that Sindhis can visit Shindh, the place of their origin and come back after visiting their family members and relatives.
International Sindhi Community president Manohar Dev said demands were raised during the open session of the conference. He added that community has also appealed to the government of India to simplify the process of giving citizenship to people who come to India from Sindh Province of Pakistan. “There should be single-window system for giving citizenship to people who come to India from Sindh,” said Dev.
Secretary of the conference and city BJP president Shankar Lalwani said seats should be reserved for the community in Parliament and assembly so that they get a proper representation.
Courtesy: THE TIMES OF INDIA
THERE is a total ban on all types of visas for Pakistanis in Kuwait. The ban, imposed on nationals from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, includes suspending all tourism, visit and trade visas as well as visas sponsored by spouses.
It is indeed the prerogative of the Kuwaiti government to hire immigrant workers from any country. However Pakistanis already working in Kuwait must be governed by laws so as not to put them under additional emotional stress, resulting from forced separation from their families.
LAHORE: Main opposition PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistan should unilaterally abolish the visa regime with India immediately as people-to-people contacts can accelerate the bilateral peace process.
Sharif urged the government of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to “step forward and take the initiative of abolishing the visa regime” to facilitate the people of both countries.
He made the remarks during an interactive session with an Indian trade delegation at his residence in Lahore last night.
“Pakistan should move ahead with the decision of abolishing the visa regime unilaterally even if India hesitates to reciprocate the initiative at this point in time.
“I believe India will be forced to follow suit once Pakistan breaks this barrier. In my opinion, this step can go miles in bringing these two nuclear powers closer,” Sharif said. …
Read more » The Economic Times
Via – Twitter
Soft Pak-India visa policy to be signed in May: Krishna
NEW DELHI: Indian’s Minister for External Affairs SM Krishna Wednesday said India and Pakistan will sign a “liberalized visa agreement” in May this year when secretaries of the two countries meet in Islamabad.
Speaking at the Lok Sabha on the April 8 daylong visit of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to India during which he met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over lunch, he said Pak-Indian secretary level talks are set in May in Islamabad, where liberalized visa policy will be given a go-ahead.
According to India media, the traders from the two sides of the border will be entitled to receive multiple visas for one year.
Also under the fresh policy, the traders from the two countries may receive visa of ten cities in the respective countries.
Courtesy: SAMAA TV
Via – twitter
– Mansoor Ijaz’s visa application not yet received: Foreign Office
ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday said its High Commission in London or any other consulate has not yet received a visa application from Mansoor Ijaz, a key character in the memogate scandal.
“We have not received a visa application by Mansoor Ijaz either at the High Commission in London or any other consulate,” said Foreign Office Spokesperson Abdul Basit in his weekly press briefing here at the Foreign Office Thursday.
During the proceedings of the investigative commission probing the memo scandal, Mansoor Ijaz’s lawyer, Akram Shaikh said that his client was not being issued a visa for Pakistan.
The commission directed the embassies in Switzerland and United Kingdom to issue a multiple visa to Mansoor Ijaz upon the receipt of his passport and application without other conditions.
via » Twitter » TF’s Tweet
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Thursday said conspiracies were being hatched to oust the elected government, but vowed to fight for the rights of the people.
Addressing a gathering at the launch of an exhibition of rare photographs of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Pakistan Movement at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), Gilani said he is here to serve the people of Pakistan.
The prime minister said, “conspiracies are being hatched to pack-up an elected government. We remain in the government or in opposition, we will continue to protect the rights of the people”.
Gilani categorically stated, “there cannot be a State within a State. Nobody can say that he is not under the government.”
“Every institution of this country including the Ministry of Defence is under the Prime Minister of Pakistan”, he added.
He said there should be no ambiguity about it and nobody should claim himself as an independent. “They are being paid from the State Exchequer, from your revenue and from your taxes.”
“If somebody thinks that they are not under the government, they are mistaken. They are under the government and they remain under the government, because we are the elected representatives of the people of Pakistan.” …. …
…. “But I want to ask how was (bin Laden) living here for the past six years? On what type of visa was he living here? Why was security not taken care of, if he entered in Pakistan without a visa?”
Read more » The News
– Two arrested in Imran Farooq murder case
By Azaz Syed
The suspects were arrested on a tip from British intelligence and other sources
ISLAMABAD: Two men were arrested at Karachi airport a few days ago in connection with the killing of MQM leader Imran Farooq in London in September last year.
The suspects are said to be affiliated to a political party.
Officials privy to details told this correspondent that the arrested men had travelled to UK on student visa, stabbed Dr Farooq to death and then flown to Sri Lanka.
They were apprehended soon after they came out of the airport in Karachi after having travelled from Colombo.
It is learnt that they were arrested on a tip from British intelligence and other sources.
Their names have not been disclosed but the sources said that the president, prime minister and security establishment had been informed about the matter.
The sources said the arrests were made by personnel of the country`s elite intelligence agency with the help of photographs and videos provided by the British authorities.
The arrested persons have been kept in Karachi and investigation is in progress.
The accused had flown to London in August 2010 and the murder took place on September 16.
London`s Metropolitan Police and Scotland Yard had launched an investigation and arrested a suspect who was released later for lack of evidence.
Dr Farooq had co-founded the All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organisation (APMSO), the parent organisation of Muttahida Qaumi Movement, with Altaf Hussain. He was deputy convener of the party, technically next to the MQM chief.
But he left the party in 2009 after developing differences over organisational matters.
The arrest of the suspected killers is considered to be a major breakthrough in the case.
Courtesy: → DAWN.COM
– The misfits of society
by Waseem Altaf
Qurattulain Haider, writer of the greatest urdu novel “Aag Ka Darya” had come to Pakistan in 1949. By then she had attained the stature of a world class writer. She joined the Press Information Department and served there for quite some time. In 1959 her greatest novel ‘Aag ka Darya’ was published. ‘Aag Ka Dariya’ raised important questions about Partition and rejected the two-nation theory. It was this more than anything else that made it impossible for her to continue in Pakistan, so she left for India and permanently settled there.
Sahir Ludhianvi, one of the finest romantic poets of Urdu language settled in Lahore in 1943 where he worked for a number of literary magazines. Everything was alright until after partition when his inflammatory writings (communist views and ideology) in the magazine Savera resulted in the issuing of a warrant for his arrest by the Government of Pakistan. In 1949 Sahir fled to India and never looked back.
Sajjad Zaheer, the renowned progressive writer Marxist thinker and revolutionary who came to Pakistan after partition, was implicated in Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case and was extradited to India in 1954.
Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was a Pakistani citizen, regarded as one of the greatest classical singers of the sub continent, was so disillusioned by the apathy shown towards him and his art that he applied for, and was granted a permanent Indian immigrant visa in 1957-58. He migrated to India and lived happily thereafter. All of the above lived a peaceful and prosperous life in India and were conferred numerous national awards by the Government of India.
Now let’s see the scene on the other side of Radcliff line.
Saadat Hassan Manto a renowned short story writer migrated to Pakistan after 1947. Here he was tried thrice for obscenity in his writings. Disheartened and financially broke he expired at the age of 42. In 2005, on his fiftieth death anniversary, the Government of Pakistan issued a commemorative postage stamp.
Zia Sarhadi the Marxist activist and a film director who gave us such memorable films as ‘Footpath’ and ‘Humlog’, was a celebrity in Bombay when he chose to migrate to Pakistan. ‘Rahguzar’, his first movie in this country, turned out to be the last that he ever directed. During General Ziaul Haq’s martial law, he was picked up by the army and kept in solitary confinement in terrible conditions. The charges against him were sedition and an inclination towards Marxism. On his release, he left the country to settle permanently in the UK and never came back.
Faiz Ahmad Faiz, one of the greatest Urdu poets of the 20th century was arrested in 1951 under Safety Act and charged in the Rawalpindi Conspiracy case. Later he was jailed for more than four years.
Professor Abdussalam the internationally recognized Pakistani physicist was disowned by his own country due to his religious beliefs. He went to Italy and settled there. He could have been murdered in the holy land but was awarded the Nobel Prize in the West for his contribution in the field of theoretical physics. Meanwhile his tombstone at Rabwah (now Chenab Nagar) was disfigured under the supervision of a local magistrate. This was our way of paying tribute to the great scientist.
Rafiq Ghazanvi was one of sub-continent’s most attractive, capable and versatile artists. He was an actor, composer and singer. He composed music for a number of films in Bombay like Punarmilan, Laila majnu and Sikandar. After partition he came to Karachi where he was offered a petty job at Radio Pakistan. He later resigned and spent the rest of his life in seclusion. He died in Karachi in 1974.
Sheila Ramani was the heroine of Dev Anand’s ”taxi driver” and “fantoosh” released in the 50’s. She was a Sindhi and came to Karachi where her uncle Sheikh Latif was a producer. She played the lead in Pakistani film ”anokhi” which had the famous song ”gari ko chalana babu” However seeing little prospects of any cinematic activity at Karachi, she moved back to India.
Ustad Daman, the ‘simpleton’ Punjabi poet had flair of his own. Due to his unorthodox views, many a times he was sent behind bars. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru offered him Indian citizenship which he refused. The reward he received here was the discovery of a bomb from his shabby house for which he was sent to jail by the populist leader Mr.Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
Had Mohammad Rafi the versatile of all male singers of the Indian sub-continent chosen to stay in Pakistan, what would have been his fate. A barber in the slums of Bilal Gunj in Lahore, while Dilip Kumar selling dry fruit in Qissa Khawani Bazaar, Peshawar.
Ustad Salamat Ali a bhagwan in Atari turned out to be a mirasi in Wahga all his life. Last time I met him at his rented house in Islamabad, he was in bad shape.
We also find Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan who went to India and was treated like a god. His compositions recorded in India became all time hits not only in Pakistan and India but all over the world. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Faakhir, Ali Zafar and Atif Aslam frequently visit India and their talent is duly recognized by a culture where art and music is part of life. Adnan Sami has even obtained Indian citizenship and has permanently settled there. Salma Agha and Zeba Bakhtiar got fame after they acted in Indian films. Meanwhile Veena Malik is getting death threats here and is currently nowhere to be seen. Sohail Rana the composer was so disillusioned here that he permanently got settled in Canada. Earlier on Saleem Raza the accomplished singer immigrated to Canada. I was told by a friend that Saleem Raza was once invited by some liberal students to perform at Punjab University when the goons of Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba attacked him and paraded him in an objectionable posture in front of the students.
After returning to Pakistan the chhote ustads of “star plus” who achieved stardom in India have gone into oblivion, while Amanat Ali and Saira Reza of “sa re ga ma” fame have disappeared. And ask Sheema Kirmani and Naheed Siddiqui, the accomplished dancers how conducive the environment here is for the growth of performing arts.
A country gets recognition through its intelligentsia and artists. They are the real assets of a nation. The cultural growth of a society is not possible without these individuals acting as the precursors of change. Unfortunately this state was not created, nor was it meant for these kinds of people. It was carved out for hypocrites and looters who could have enjoyed a heyday without any fear or restraint.
Read more → ViewPoint
By Shahid Nadeem
Pakistani cricket fans are on their way to Chandigarh to cheer their team in the mother of all matches taking place at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium in Mohali.
Among them are Pakistani peace activists who will be joined by their Indian counterparts to promote peace. Pakistani cricket fans would have crossed the border without obtaining no objection certificates from Rehman Malik and by passing the Indian government’s newly introduced stringent visa policy. While stepping over the imaginary border line, they will surely notice the well-built, tough-looking border security jawans from both sides, who behind their thick, oiled moustaches, may be hiding their desire to join the cricket caravan. Back home, people will be taking half day off, even if the government doesn’t announce it. The tyre-burning mobs may suspend their ‘noble’ campaign and Karachi’s target-killers may give themselves a much-needed break for the day. Cricketing hero-turned-playboy-turned-The Avenger, has already instructed his Tehrik-i-Dharna brigade to schedule the anti-Nato sit-in well after the World Cup final. …
The case of Raymond Davis has outraged the imagination and sentiment of Pakistanis mainly because of a distortion of key facts by powerful sections of the Pakistani media. It has also become a vicious ping pong game between the PPP and PMLN governments, with both trying to score nationalist points regardless of the consequences for political stability and national security. Ominously, though, it has soured a troubled relationship between Pakistan and the US who claim to be “strategic partners” in the region. Let’s sift fact from fiction.
Fiction: Mr Davis “murdered” two Pakistanis. He shot them in the back, suggesting he was not threatened by them. They were not robbers. Their handguns were licensed. Fact: Two men on a motorbike, armed with unlicensed pistols, held up Mr Davis’ car. He expertly shot them through the windscreen, stepped out and took pictures of the gunmen with weapons as evidence of self-defense. Later, an autopsy report showed that four out of seven bullets had hit the gunmen in the front, confirming the threat to him. The criminals had earlier robbed two passersby of their cell phones and money.
Fiction: Mr Davis is not a diplomat because he doesn’t have a diplomatic visa or status registered with the Foreign Office. Hence he cannot claim diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Conventions. Fact: Mr Davis has a Diplomatic Passport. His visa application by the US State Department to the Pakistan Embassy in Washington DC of 11 September 2009 lists him as a Diplomat who is on “Official Business”. The US government has claimed diplomatic immunity for him. This is the norm. For example, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Spain in 1975, Haroon ur Rashid Abbasi, was granted immunity following discovery of heroin from his suitcase. Col Mohammad Hamid Pakistan’s military attaché in London in 2000, was caught having sex with a prostitute in his car in a public place. He invoked diplomatic immunity and avoided arrest. Mohammad Arshad Cheema, Pakistan’s First Secretary in Nepal, also invoked diplomatic immunity after 16kg of high inte4nsity RDX explosives were recovered from his house and he was suspected of being involved in the hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight IC-814. And so on. …
Read more : Wichaar