Since he was not granted permission to travel to Delhi, Ramnath said he went directly towards Haridwar from Punjab. Ramnath said most of the ashes were three to four years old and were waiting to be immersed in the Ganga. "Our visa applications were rejected by the Indian High Commission three times. The visas of eight others is still pending. If they are also granted visa by the Pitru Paksha, then they will arrive with 40 more asthi kalash from the Karachi shamshan," the priest said. Speaking to IANS, Ramnath recalled his last visit to India in 2011 when he arrived with 135 asthi kalash, some as old as 30 years.
The tedious visa process, a by-product of the tense bilateral ties, adds to the delay in immersing the ashes of Pakistani Hindus in the Ganga. "Due to religious value of the Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple, many people approach us and express their desire of immersing the ashes of their relatives in the Ganga. The ashes are kept at the 400-year-old Sondari Shamshan or Asthi Ashram in Karachi, which is near the temple," he said. The priest said that recently both the temple and cremation ground were renovated with the help of the Pakistan government. The Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple is one of the few in the world to have a "natural" idol of Hanuman.