ByÂ Ravi Nitesh:
….And it was so nice to hear, theÂ dreamÂ of this student… “I want to travel to India.” He had expressed it in a general talk during an informal discussion about the neighbor country.
I met him during my recent visit to Lahore to attend a convention held on Relaxing Visa and what other pure, simple and natural desire could highlight the need of relaxing visa?Â ThisÂ dreamÂ clearly depicts a major crack in the wall of Indo-Pak relations. In fact, it shouldn’t be aÂ dreamÂ for anyone, it must be there as an obvious thing, as a right to get.We must appreciate the work of Governments and civil societies of both sides for their meetings and initiatives that have ultimately brought a positive result in terms of visa relaxation. Though this move must be welcomed by all, there is still an ample scope and a need for further amendment.A Question alwaysÂ comeÂ in my mind that why ourÂ dreamsÂ are slaves of our governments? In pre-independence scenario, the whole region was one while after the two countries emerged, we could not make a comfortable relation even after 65 years? Whose fault is this?
In fact, in present scenario, there are strong reasons to say that the enriching Indo-Pak relation is not only good for both countries, but it will also affect other geo-political scenarios as well in positive ways. South Asia will become undoubtedly strong with a better confidence building and peace keeping approach. There are many things in which we have to look to maintain and to enrich this bilateral relation. Among these, the one of ‘Relaxing Visa’Â obviously must be preferred, as this will be the respect of people’s wish.Â For a real confidence building, governments of both the countries must know that it is only people of both the countries for whom and from whom the governments are in existence, and without recognizing the wish of their real makers (the public), the role of governments will be incomplete.
There is an urgent need for rethinking on present attitude of visa approvals and to make it relaxed for granting visa. New visa policy presented some relaxation but still it is not as per the requirement. People too should start demanding the same in peaceful ways as they all have rights to do so. Defining political boundaries doesn’t mean that boundaries will be imposed on hearts. Many people are trying to bring it in government’s priority to pay attention towards liberalized visa rules.
In a notableÂ ‘Relax Visa Campaign’Â of an organization in Pakistan, more than 85,000 persons signed to favor the relax visa. This number clearly shows the people’s desire. It is a common fact that our roots are same, our feelings are same and even our lifestyles are same. It is a fact that whenever anyone goes to border to see off a friend, they both weep together. It is a fact that whenever common people of both the countries meet each other they both smile and greet each other as equals. Can we realize ever that how we both are living in exile?
As for where the government and political issues are concerned, it is well known that governments and political parties of not only these countries but of most of the countries of this world, work only to get vote and try to make things that can polarize the voters. With this fact, we all must understand that government will not do everything. Signature campaigns and other democratic ways of making demands by people are there toÂ letÂ the government understand the view of people and then to make decisions. That is why the collective effort is required from all sides. It is us who can make the real change. Issuing visa is a thing that can bring the real happiness on people’s faces.
There are so many reasons that make it necessary. We all are aware with history, divided families, relations, friendships etc. As a human being, it is our natural right to move anywhere; however this natural right is restricted by political boundaries. Governments must understand that political boundaries must act only to provide facilities, security, living standard etc. and not here to impose boundaries on emotions and desire. We, the people of India and Pakistan, must believe that even if our governments are unable to understand and to follow our wishes, the day willÂ comeÂ when governments will work for the people’s wish.
We all will demand till then, we all will wait till then.