India-Pak may have relaxed visa regime soon
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Last Updated: Thursday, June 23, 2011, 21:57
  
New Delhi: India and Pakistan will soon have a relaxed visa regime that will facilitate easier travel for journalists, businessmen, children and senior citizens of both the countries.

New Delhi and Islamabad are working closely towards amendments in the existing visa agreement at the Joint Working Group meetings for finalisation of a pact possibly at the next Ministerial-level bilateral meeting.

"If both the countries reach an agreement, for the first time India and Pakistan will have a liberalised visa regime," a government official said.

India has proposed relaxed norms for issuance of visas to journalists, businessmen, children (below the age of 12 years) and senior citizens (above 60 years) and patients travelling for medical treatment.

Under the proposal, these visas will not be city- specific and visa holders will be allowed to travel across the country, the official said.

New Delhi has proposed that anyone travelling to India with a valid visa who wants to travel again within a span of two years should be exempted from the time-consuming security background checks process which is done from here.

"We are positive on liberalising the visa regime with Pakistan to facilitate greater people-to-people contacts between the two nations," the official said.

New Delhi is also in favour of abolishing the present policy of "port of entry and exit has to be same" and allowing the travellers to enter and exit the respective country through their chosen ports.

Earlier this month, at the meeting of the Joint Working Group on visa issues in Islamabad, the two sides had announced that they had agreed to continue discussions on amendments in the existing visa agreement at the group's next meeting to be held in New Delhi soon.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, June 23, 2011, 21:57


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