I'll try to avoid a disgruntled rant and just post this a caveat and hopefully a helpful warning for other travelers.
My wife and I have traveled to India twice within the last three years. The first trip for pleasure happened to be shortly after the Mumbai bombings at the Taj. We encountered no difficulties and had wonderful experiences exploring and doing business in India (My wife works in sourcing.) Her parents are Catholic Goans born in Pakistan who left Karachi in their early 20s and immigrated to Canada.
Needless to say a few years ago we initially had concerns about whether it would be easy for her to get a visa given her parents place of birth. It seems a bit silly given the particulars of her case but we had heard stories. In the end we experienced no difficulties or delay with the visa process.
On the back of that experience we planned a return trip this winter to tour Rajasthan and end in Mumbai for a few days of rest. All of a sudden there were problems. 6 days after the initial visa application I and my daughter have visas but my wife is still waiting 7 weeks later with no resolution in sight. Obviously the issue is security clearance but 7 weeks seems like an unreasonable processing time when service standards are advertised as aprox. 6 to 7 days.
Anyhow - all attempts to address this problem since our flights are within a few days have proved fruitless. All calls, emails, fax or other attempt at any communication have been ignored. We have desperately tried to get someone's attention to the situation but they have stonewalled. The Visa Application Center has been useless. After multiple visits in-person to the Consulate in Shanghai were finally able to meet with a thoroughly unpleasant and unhelpful bureaucrat who made the situation incomparably worse. Let me be clear that despite our anxiety we approached him in a very polite and courteous manner. He refused to address our concerns, had no interest in listening to anything other than lecturing us and speaking extremely dismissively and patronizingly to my wife. I got the distinct impression that he didn't appreciate being addressed at all by a woman, especially one of South Asian descent. The interview ended when he stormed out of the glassed-in office area and lecturing us that we shouldn't expect help from him as there is nothing that he can do and that what do we expect as Pakistani's looking for a visa? (My wife is a Canadian born in Canada and her parents have been Canadian citizens for over 40 years.)
After dealing with this guy we realize that our mistake was in being honest and truthful on the family information form. ( I suppose on past applications they never bothered to read this form.) We should have fudged and left it blank.
This was an entirely voluntary trip. My wife is unlikely to do business there any time soon and we just wanted to enjoy a couple weeks exploring and introducing our daughter to her grandparent's homeland and culture. There are many many other destinations in S/E Asia we could have chosen to spend our money. We arranged this trip independently, spent a lot of time researching and avoiding large tours and big hotel chains. The real losers here are the drivers, restaurants, small hoteliers and other industry employees in Rajasthan that likely depend heavily on this sort of tourist revenue.
Instead we have decided to spend the time relaxing in Singapore where we can experience India's wonderful diaspora without the interference of bumbling incompetents. Given this souring experience it's extremely unlikely that we will ever choose to visit India again. So long India! You have a beautiful people and culture - it's just a shame that your civil service fails you so miserably.
Other travelers - If you have any remote connection with Pakistan allow at least 4 months lead time on a visa and don't expect civility or help from India's government if you run into problems.