Cabinet clears Indo-Pak visa agreement

Under visa agreement children below 15 and senior citizens from Pakistan will be issued with Indian visas on arrival.

Updated: Apr 26, 2012, 23:19 PM IST

New Delhi: The move to ease travel between India and Pakistan for certain categories got the nod of Union Cabinet on Thursday amid growing ties between the two countries.

The Cabinet gave its approval to signing of an agreement that would allow common people from either country to visit three earmarked cities, sources said.

The businessmen with multi-entry non-police reporting visas, can visit five cities instead of three as at present, they said.

The provision will apply to business persons whose credentials are certified by the chambers on the both sides. From India, it will be FICCI and from Pakistani side, it will be Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

The elderly people would be exempt from police reporting, as per the proposed agreement, the sources said.

The decision comes ahead of the meeting of Home Secretaries of the two countries, which is expected to take place in Islamabad in the last week of May.

The agreement could be signed at that meeting if Pakistan Cabinet also approves it, the sources said.

The two countries decided to ease visa regulations during the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari here on April 8.

The agreement is expected to give boost to the bilateral trade which is low at 2.7 billion dollars at present.