Group visa for Pak nationals may be put on hold

India may put on hold the proposed group visa facility to the nationals of that country in the wake of the unease in bilateral ties following the killing of two Indian soldiers along the LoC.

Last Updated: Mar 10, 2013, 20:28 PM IST

New Delhi: After suspending visa on arrival for Pakistani senior citizens, India may put on hold the proposed group visa facility to the nationals of that country in the wake of the unease in bilateral ties following the killing of two Indian soldiers along the LoC.

The visa on arrival facility for senior citizens -- part of the new relaxed India-Pakistan visa agreement -- was put on hold by India hours before its operationalisation on January 15 following heightened tension along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

The two countries had agreed to operationalise the group tourist visa facility to be offered to each other`s citizens from March 15 but the move may be put on hold as there is no improvement in bilateral relations.

"The decision has to be taken at the highest level. So far, we have no clarity whether the group visa facility will be operationalised on March 15 or not though we are preparing for it along with launching of the visa on arrival for Pakistani senior citizen," a senior Home Ministry official said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on Wednesday said the barbaric killing of Indian soldiers in Kashmir had cast a shadow on bilateral relations and asked Pakistan to create a conducive environment to take the normalisation process forward.

Singh had said he was yet to see any "tangible progress" in dismantling of terror infrastructure in Pakistan and bringing to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks.

PTI