India to consider multiple visa for scribes from SAARC nations
Amritsar: India will consider granting multiple visa to journalists from SAARC nations, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Sunday.
Addressing South Asia Free Media Association's (SAFMA) 8th Regional Conference here, the Minister said that he would soon take up the matter to sort out multiple visa issue.
He said the new Indo-Pak visa regime, which was operationalised last month, would also facilitate mediapersons to visit each other's countries.
The new pact is related to visitor, business and pilgrim visas and covers the facility of entering and exiting from different immigration check posts and exemption from reporting to police. The new agreement replaces a 38-year-old tardy visa regime signed in 1974 by the two countries.
On opposition to Indo-Pak cricket ties from some sections, Khurshid said they are unable to understand that "it is a way to communicate with that country.... All these things ... create desire for better relationship".
Asked about former Pakistani cricket captain Javed Miandad calling off his visit following protests in the country over granting him visa, Khurshid said there was no hindrance from Indian end.
Government had drawn flak for granting visa to Miandad to watch the ODI series as he has family ties with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, who is wanted in India in connection with the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case.
Miandad's son Junaid is married to Dawood's daughter Mahrukh.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the function, Khurshid said he would soon take up with Home Ministry the issue of linking Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib from Indian side with Dera Baba Nanak in Pakistan through direct corridor "so that it could be resolved at the earliest with the intervention of Pakistan government".
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had in his address raised the issue, saying it was of immense emotional importance.
Badal also urged SAFMA to take up the issue with both the Indian and Pakistan governments.
Later, Khurshid, accompanied by Badal visited Golden Temple to pay obeisance at the sanctum sanctorum.
The Chief Minister presented a 'Siropa' (robe of honour), shawl, portrait of Darbar Sahib and a set of religious books to the Minister.