Pakistan sealing the Attari-Wagah border on Thursday as a preventive measure to combat the spread of Covid, several Pakistanis who were cross over to their country got stuck at the Joint Check Post here.
At least six Pakistani families, mostly Hindus, were not allowed to complete immigration formalities as there are restrictions on the movement of tourists on either side.
The Pakistan authorities on Thursday issued a notification to close the Wagah border for two weeks. India has already sealed the border. Except for the diplomats of either side, no one can cross the border till further orders.
However, Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) officials were trying to pacify the Pakistani families and persuading them to go back to their relatives’ houses in India till further orders.
One of them, Dyal Chand of Balochistan, said his family of three had come to India a month ago and they were supposed to return on Thursday. “We never knew about the sealing of the border due to the Covid threat. I am a patient of diabetes and hypertension. I have run out of my medicines. Our visa was going to expire on March 22. Where will go? We don’t know anyone in Amritsar,” he said.
Another Pakistan resident Pawan Kumar who belonged to Sindh (Pakistan) said that he along with his family had come to Rajkot (Gujarat) and that their visa was going to expire. “Technically, we cannot stay in Amritsar. My family has a visa for Gujarat only. So we have no choice, but to return to Gujarat,” he said.
Luxmi Bai of Sindh said she came to India with her family on one month’s visa. “We are short of money and the visa will expire on March 22. We are in Catch-22 situation,” she said.
Similarly, Munawar, Bibi and Nasreen, who came to Ferozepur to meet their relatives, had no choice but to go back to their relatives.
ADC Himanshu Aggarwal said, “No Pakistani citizen has approached the district administration yet. Moreover, there is no advisory issued by the Centre in their case.”