New Delhi: Reiterating its commitment to regional cooperation, Pakistan has pressed for the adoption of a visa-free system among the SAARC countries, which will help establish cordial relations among the member states, reports said on Thursday.
A proposal in this regard was mooted by a three-member delegation from Pakistan, which Indian authorities here yesterday. The idea of visa-free scheme is same like in Europe where a single visa system is followed. The Pakistani delegation was of the view that this system, if adopted, will hugely benefit all member states, especially India and Pakistan.
As per reports, the Pakistani delegation comprising Nasir Aslam Zahid, former justice of Pakistan Supreme Court, Iqbal Haider, former law minister of Pakistan and Karamat Ali, Director of Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, interacted with students of a school run by NGO Sarhad, which works for the welfare of terrorism-affected children in Jammu and Kashmir.
The delegation arrived in India to discuss the issue of fishermen who are arrested for straying into another country`s waters. They had visited fisherman in Gujarat, who frequently get caught by the Pakistan navy.
The delegation pressed that by removing visa restrictions and adopting measures like common currency, European countries allowed people to interact and prosper. “It helped establish peace and harmony in Europe. The countries, which were fighting against each other, are today contributing to each other`s economic development. Similar measures can be taken here also by having better connectivity and communication among the SAARC countries, "Zahid was quoted as saying in media reports.
Separately, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir represented Pakistan at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation`s (SAARC) standing committee meet held at Addu Atoll in Maldives on Monday.
“SAARC should consider establishing dialogue partnership with interested states and Pakistan welcomes China’s interest in an interactive partnership with SAARC,” Bshir said.
Pakistan suggested that moratorium on expansion of Observers be lifted and supported Turkey’s request for becoming an Observer. Interestingly, the Prime Ministers of Pakistan and India are expected to meet on the margins of the summit that begins today.