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Obtaining visas a ‘great problem’ in cross-border marriages

In one of the cross-border marriages, 21-year-old Salma from Rajasthan’s Bundi district is all set to tie knot with her fiancee from Pakistan.

But one of the major hurdle in the social harmony between the two families is “obtaining visas”.

Even as Salma’s family welcomed the 23-year-old Karachi-based groom Danish Mehmood and his family yesterday, both the families ‘pray’ for relaxation in visa norms.

This is not the first cross-border marriage between the two families.

According to the head of Salma’s family, Hazi Nuruddin, the wedding relations between the families of the late Hazi Mohammed Baksh and Hazi Iqubal Hussain of began in 1963.

Nuruddin’s sister Rehmat Bagam was first from his family to be wedded in Iqubal Hussain’s family. It was followed by another in 1979 and 1983 and the tradition has continued since then.

Getting visas, both in and Pakistan, is a great problem. We have to apply six months in advance and the formalities are tough, Nuruddin said.

The families have written to governments several times in in past for flexibility in visa procedures and extension in visa period, he said.

Abdul Azij (52), uncle of the bridegroom Danish, said that he could not obtain visa to India two years ago for the marriages of his two sons in Bundi.

“I still bear the pain of missing the wedding of my two sons as my name was dropped from visa list at the last moment,” Abdul said.

For Danish’s wedding too, 15 members applied for the visas, but it was granted to only 11 of them, he said.

Abdul too want flexibility in visa procedure and an extension of visa period from 30 to 60 days.

Hazi Sayeed Mehmood, bridegroom’s father deals with hotel business in Karachi.

The relationship between the two nations has no bearings in the two families, Danish said, adding he “never had any misunderstanding or confusion about India”.

The 11 members from the groom’s side are scheduled to leave for on December 11 and 12.