New Delhi: The signing of liberalised visa agreement has been hailed as a 'historic landmark' by the industry body Ficci.
"The signing today of a liberalised visa agreement between India and Pakistan is a historic landmark in the normalisation of bilateral relations which has been given a new thrust during the past one year," Ficci President R V Kanoria said.
The new agreement that separates business visa from visitor's visa would allow business persons from both the countries to travel across more cities and for a longer duration, he added.
"The agreement comes at a time when business persons on both sides are working together to make it easier to enhance bilateral trade so that the two biggest economies of South Asia are firmly on the road to deepening their economic relations," Kanoria said.
The much-awaited, liberalised visa agreement introduces for the first time group tourist and pilgrim visas, separate visa for businessmen and visa on arrival for those over 65 years of age.
The new pact, signed between External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik, replaces a 38-year-old restrictive visa agreement and will pave the way for time-bound visa approval and greater people to people contacts and boost trade.