Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Process of issuing visa gathers momentum

Published: Saturday, November 24, 2001, 21:45 [IST]
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New Delhi:After two days of confusion, the process of issuing visas to cricket fans going to Pakistan for the forthcoming Indo-Pak series picked up pace on Friday, with visa-seekers becoming more aware of the need to produce a confirmation from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the match tickets.

The word has spread around that applications for visa will not be accepted unless they are accompanied by a confirmation from the PCB for the match tickets bought online.

Moreover, at the two visa counters opened on Thursday at the Pakistan High Commission, specially for those going for the historic Indo-Pak series, notices have been put up stating that applications will not be accepted unless confirmation of purchase of ticket from the PCB is furnished.

Parvesh Marwah, a middle-aged Delhiite, who is seeking visa for the two One-dayers in Lahore, said he came to know about the need for PCB confirmation letter only on Thursday, after which he got his documents in place and applied for visa on Friday.

"People are becoming more aware of all the documents that they need for the visa. Everybody is now making it a point to get a printout of the PCB confirmation letter, which was e-mailed to us," Marwah said.

The confirmation letter is being received around 48 hours after the purchase of the ticket.

But there are complaints of the PCB e-mail not arriving even days after the ticket has been booked.

Dinesh Singh from Chandigarh, in his 20s, said he booked his ticket on March 1, but has not received any other e-mail from the Pakistani side.

Around 300 applications were accepted on Friday, a visa official said, while, according to a spokesman for the High Commission, nearly 70 applications were found to be complete on Thursday.

The first visas were to be given out later in the day, the spokesman said.

The process was to have begun on March 3, which turned out to be a non-starter, with visa-seekers waiting in vain to turn in their applications.

But the visa officials have now got their act together, and on Friday promised to work overtime to accept the visas of all those waiting in line, willing to keep the counters open beyond the specified time between 09.00 hours and 11.30 hours.

The Indian cricket tour of Pakistan, the first in 14 years, starts from March 13.

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