Indian Union Minister takes stroll inside Pakistan without visa

January 18th, 2008 - 9:49 pm ICT by admin  

By Ravinder Singh Robin
Wagah (Amritsar) January 18 (ANI): Inadvertent crossing into Pakistan could take many years for an Indian to return home, but this is not the case with Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh, who crossed Indo-Pak border to take a stroll in neighbour’s territory without any legal travel documents on Friday.
Accompanied by some Indian officials, including Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar, K S Pannu and some Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, Ramesh went up to the conference hall of Pakistan Ranges, about 40 yards inside Pakistan.
Interestingly, the minister was not received by any of the Pakistani officials, in contrast to the protocol when a foreign high official visits another country.
“I went only two steps and didn’t go to Pakistan,” said Ramesh, when asked how could he cross the international border without any legal papers.
BSF Inspector General Arvind Ranjan said: “We don’t allow common man to cross the border without visa or legal documents, but we ourselves go to attend the meetings across the border as per schedule”.
Noting that he was not present when Ramesh crossed the border, Ranjan said he would look into the matter after getting the reports from BSF officials in attendance.
A highly placed immigration source said: “The minister crossed the border just out of curiosity. Even the Pakistani Rangers did not stop him, while he was entering Pakistan”.
Pannu said the minister’s visit was aimed at examining the border area, which is likely to being modernised for improving trade links with Pakistan.
“Visiting Pakistan without any legal document was not an issue,” he added. (ANI)

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