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    Perhaps it is time for change.

    I was surprised to read this opinion in Jang.
    I guess I do lead a sheltered life. Is Jamilur Rehaman correct about Pakistanis not being welcome even by China?

    http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/jun20...02/oped/o2.htm

    Terror at home

    Mir Jamilur Rahman

    The writer is a freelance columnist

    [email protected]

    A top official of the ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) in a rare Press interview has revealed that senior al-Qaeda leaders have filtered across Pakistan into major cities. He has warned that the battle at hand may be one for Pakistan. He acknowledged that there is anti-West, anti-American movement now in Pakistan. There could be danger to individuals; it could hit the president, or anyone.

    ...............

    We have become the victims of self-righteousness and blame Indian propaganda for spoiling the image of Pakistan and its citizens. Many of us sincerely think that our troubles are the product of a conspiracy that America, India and Israel have hatched against us. We refuse to acknowledge that perhaps the fault lies with us. Do we have the right to complain if India takes advantage of our mistakes?

    Nowhere in the world a Pakistani is welcome any more. Not because a Pakistani is a potential terrorist but because Pakistan is now infested with various brands of imported terrorists who have been joined by some Pakistanis of the same ilk. After doing their ugly bit in Afghanistan and consequently made to hit the dust there by the international coalition, they have swarmed to Pakistan to continue their dirty work. Their activities have forced even countries friendly to us to stop issuing visas to Pakistani nationals. These countries are just trying to be extra careful considering that it is quite easy in Pakistan to acquire travel documents on false pretences or by greasing the right palm. An al-Qaeda terrorist thus would have no difficulty in acquiring a Pakistani passport and ID card.

    China is our closest ally and we pride its friendship. Its free port Hong Kong is open to all. Anybody landing there could get the visa instantly. From there many tourists cross over to Mainland China by paying the prescribed visa fee. Only the Pakistani is denied entry unless he has obtained the visa from the Chinese Embassy back home. He feels frustrated and angry when he sees people of other nationalities including Indians crossing over to Mainland China without any hindrance. Is it Indian propaganda or Chinese's own intelligence that has resulted in discrimination against Pakistani nationals? Last month even Hong Kong was closed to Pakistanis. In this wide, wide world only the Pakistani cannot go to Hong Kong unless he has obtained a visa before embarking on the journey.

    Even our Muslim brethren do not welcome us any more. In spite all the terror talk it is still easier to get the visa for the US or a European country than a Muslim country. Indonesia, Malaysia, Central Asian Republics and Arab countries are loath to issue visa to a Pakistani. Some of them flatly refuse to entertain the visa application and some take months to process the application. Here is the good news. There are still two countries in the world where a Pakistani could get the visa on entry; and both are non-Muslims. One is Hindu Nepal and the other is Buddhist Sri Lanka.

    It is not terribly useful to take refuge under the pretext that everybody is after us, conspiring against us. If we examine our conduct honestly and dispassionately we will discover to our chagrin that we ourselves are our worst enemies. It is a painful realisation that nowhere in the world the Indians are bad mouthed but in Pakistan; and nowhere in the world Pakistanis are praised but in Pakistan.




    [This message has been edited by OldLahori (edited May 31, 2002).]

    #2
    Originally posted by OldLahori:
    Last month even Hong Kong was closed to Pakistanis. In this wide, wide world only the Pakistani cannot go to Hong Kong unless he has obtained a visa before embarking on the journey.

    There are still two countries in the world where a Pakistani could get the visa on entry; and both are non-Muslims. One is Hindu Nepal and the other is Buddhist Sri Lanka.
    The crdibility of Mr Rahman is made very doubtful because of his incorrect claims which can otherwise be easily verified or refuted by a simple research. Pakistanis do not need to obtain a visa before hand to travel to Hong Kong. They are automatically given a 14 day visa on arrival. I have used this facility, myself, a number of times. Here is the latest position. [Click here]

    Also check the HK Immigration website updated on May 2, 2002 [Click here]

    Both Indian and Pakistani passport holders can get 14 day visa on arrival in HK.

    Second statement is also incorrect. Singapore is another example, where Pakistanis can get a visa on arrival. UK gives a 24 hour transit visa to Pakistanis on arrival.

    But this is besides the point. The visa policy of a country is no way an indication of its national policies towards a country. It indicates, in most cases the disparity between standard of living in the respective countries which creates an incentive to people to enter legally and then disappear and is almost always based on reciprocity.

    Even Pakistan, does not allow passport holders of most countries to get visa on arrival. They have to get it prior to travel. Not even US citizens. Go figure. :~)


    [This message has been edited by MJ (edited May 31, 2002).]

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