Javed Ali's visa woes
During his chat with BBC, Javed lamented the fact that he obtained a visitor’s visa after considerable struggle but in order to perform at a musical concert, a P-3 visa was required. Something he has been deluded from recently.
“I can’t recall how many times I have yelled the fact that I am an Indian. I hope no one asks me this question again.”, he said. His songs such as Galat Baat, Dawat-e-Ishq and Ishaqzaade (to name a few) have been quite popular in the recent past. Javed was of the view that he was facing this issue due to the fact that most of the people mistake him for being a Pakistani citizen, rather than an Indian.
Pakistan’s visa affairs are in a dismal state. According to Henley and Partners, a company that helps support residents abroad with citizenship, Pakistan’s passport is ranked the third worst as far as travel freedom is concerned. Pakistan shares this not-so-coveted spot with Somalia, which means that citizens of both of these countries can only visit 32 countries around the world without visa hassles. Rest, Pakistani citizens will have to fill out lengthy visa forms if they require a visa to enter into that country. Only the war torn countries of Afghanistan and Iraq are worse off than Pakistan as they are ranked first and second worst passport to travel in the world, respectively.
However, one other fact should also be kept in mind is that other Pakistani artists who have crossed over to Bollywood such as Fawad Khan, Rahat Fateh, Ali Zafar and Atif Aslam have not yet suffered any noticeable visa hindrances that Javed Ali seems to have experienced. We hope Javed Ali’s visa issues get resolved soon enough!