Amid talks of resuming comprehensive bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan, the Centre has cut more than 50 per cent visa applications from Pakistan.
As per a report, the decline in grant of visas to Pakistani nationals was witnessed from January to May this year.
The move appears to be coming after months of uncomfortable diplomacy following the Pathankot attacks.
The issue was also raised by Indian high commissioner to Pakistan, Gautam Bambawale during his recent meeting with union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi at New Delhi.
Bambawale said, “I would be grateful if reasons for the drastic increase in rejected visa can be ascertained and conveyed to me. If there is no plausible reason for drastic visa reductions please do help in ensuring that the proportion of rejected visas is retained.”
Government data showed that 35,021 nationals from Pakistan applied for visa from January 1 to May 31 this year out of which 17,481 were given visas while 17,540 cases were rejected.
In contrast, visas in 2014 were more than 39,000 out of 47,000 applications from January to May.
Officials say the drastic reduction in grant of visa may be due to strict security measures taken by the Modi government.
According to government officials, grant of visa to a Pakistani national takes several months because of lengthy process of verification and cross verification.
However, recently, to expedite the visa process for Pakistani citizens Indian officials discussed upgrading the facilities at Wagah-Attari checkpoint to clear the backlog.