At least 340 people, most of whom had gone to Pakistan on NORI (no objection to return to India) visas, were allowed to come back via the Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar district on Tuesday.
Indian High Commission in Pakistan recently said it was facilitating the return of 363 such visa holders and 37 Indians on Tuesday.
These people were stranded in various parts of Pakistan due to the closure of borders for the containment of the coronavirus pandemic. In the last week of June, India and Pakistan operated a shuttle service for people stuck on both sides of the border due to the pandemic. Barring NORI visa holders, nearly 2,000 Indians and Pakistanis have already been allowed to return to their respective countries though the border since June.
But this is the first time that NORI visa holders were allowed through the land border since the closure of the borders in March. The Indian government issues NORI visas to Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals who leave their home country and live in India or are married in India but have not yet obtained Indian citizenship.
Sub-divisional magistrate (Amritsar 2) Shiv Raj Bal said, “These people are from different states of India. Their apid diagnostic tests are being conducted, and only those found to be negative will be allowed to go back to their home states. Those found to be positive for the coronavirus will be isolated in Amritsar.”
Till 9pm, 340 people crossed over to India, he added.