New Delhi: India is "positive" to liberalise
visa regime with Pakistan to facilitate greater people-to-
people contacts between the two nations, Home Minister P
Chidambaram said on Friday.
"We have liberalised considerably but in the Home
Secretary level talks there was a suggestion that we should
meet again and a joint working group should be constituted to
explore further liberalisation.
"We are positive to the idea that there must be a liberal
visa regime between India and Pakistan. So a joint working
group would suggest further liberalisation," he told reporters
here during his monthly press briefing.
According to a joint statement issued on March 29 after
the two-day Home Secretary level talks with Pakistan, both the
sides had agreed to set-up a JWG to examine the modalities for
streamlining the visa procedure and for giving a final shape
to the revision of bilateral visa agreement.
After the talks official sources had said a proposal has
been put forth to relax norms for issuance of visa to
journalists, businessmen, senior citizens and patients coming
for medical treatment.
Under the proposal, the visa issued for journalists,
businessmen, senior citizen or patients travelling for
treatment will not be city specific and visa holders would be
allowed to travel across the country, they said.
The Indian side is understood to have proposed to relax
norms for people who have a valid visa and want to travel
again within the span of two years by removing time-consuming
security background check process which is done from here.
The Indian High Commission in Pakistan will be empowered
to issue necessary permission to such travellers, they said.