“Getting Indian Visa as difficult as American” : Shafqat Amanat

Getting an Indian visa has become as tough as getting an American one, says popular singer Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan, who was on a four-city tour of the country.

But he maintains that films are the two “strong” bonds between India and Pakistan.

“Visa has become an issue in the past four to five months. It (Indian visa) is now as difficult as getting an American visa. Insha Allah things will change,” Shafqat, told in an interview after his Delhi gig, the sixth till date.

“We are hoping it is one of those good-days-bad-days thing. Sometimes we go to the embassy and ask for a day’s visa and they permit us for a month. Sometimes we have all the papers ready, but they deny us a visa even when we tell them that the person who has invited us is going to be bankrupt,” said Shafqat.

“If your papers are in order and you know the right people then you don’t face such problems. However, it is high time we did something to bring peace to both the countries and get over such issues,” added Shafqat.

Shafqat Amanat Ali is in India with his band for a four-city concert for bridging the gap between India and Pakistan through music.

Held at Pune, Bangalore, Delhi and Chandigarh, the cross-border concerts are supported by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and NGO Routes2Roots.

“Music is one thing where you don’t have any competition. There is no favoritism that comes in the way. You just have to enjoy it. Music is something that can’t provoke you to hate or fight. It can only provoke you to love and to work for peace,” he said.

“There were a few bad instances that happened between both the countries but even then music and the films were the only bond that we had and it didn’t break, it stayed intact. This bond is very strong. When more artists from India go and perform there and vice versa, it will definitely pave the way,” he added



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