Indo-Pak travel: Groundwork laid for visa agreement

Published: October 15, 2011

Draft has been submitted to respective govts for necessary approval.

NEW DEHLI: Travelling across the border to India may finally become easier with a new bilateral visa agreement likely to be signed soon between India and Pakistan.

The preparatory work for the visa agreement was done over a two-day meeting of the two countries’ additional secretaries in New Delhi on October 13 and 14.

The decision to ease visa restrictions was taken at a meeting of the Joint Working Group in Islamabad in early June this year.

The Pakistani delegation was led by interior ministry’s additional secretary Nasir Hayat, while the Indian delegation was led by Anil Goswami, Additional Secretary (Foreigners) in the home affairs ministry.  “The two sides finalised the draft text of the agreement, which will be submitted to the respective governments for obtaining necessary approvals in order to sign the agreement at an early date,” said the ministry.

The draft agreement envisages, among other things, multiple-entry visas for traders and businessmen of the two countries, an Indian news agency reported.

Easing travelling restrictions has been a long-standing demand of people from the neighbouring countries.  Presently, both Indians and Pakistanis can only visit a limited number of cities in either country and the visa process is a tedious one.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • BruteForce
    Oct 15, 2011 - 12:08PM

    Only business visas are fine. Not tourist. You might call me hateful but sorry, risks are too high.

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  • Pakistani in US
    Oct 15, 2011 - 12:12PM

    I hate the whole subcontinent, it’s medieval thinking and petty wars. Congratulations for looking in this matter from your busy schedules of finger pointing, dirty politics and slogan chanting.

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  • H.A. Khan
    Oct 15, 2011 - 12:38PM

    Why not also allow work facilities to spouses from either country married to citizen of another country. right to work is a human right and enshrined in constitution of both countries. This is 21st century and women from both India an d Pakistan marry in another country ie India/ Pakistan

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  • Peaceforall
    Oct 15, 2011 - 6:12PM

    Besides improving the efficiency of getting a visa for both sides, a special visa for divided families can also be introduced specially for a Indian born woman married to a Pakistani national.

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  • Expatriates Pakistani
    Oct 15, 2011 - 6:14PM

    When whole Europe can join together, when England and Ireland open their borders, when France and Germany join together, then why not us, I bet together we will be world super powers…Its a very good and positive step of both Govt.

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  • Peace
    Oct 15, 2011 - 10:33PM

    @BruteForce:
    I dont see any harm in visa free entry between the two countries. We share same language and culture.They only loss will be of the Army who will lose its hegemony and weight.

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  • @ Pakistani in U.S.A
    Oct 15, 2011 - 10:56PM

    Congratulation! Staying in U.S.A has done nothing for the hateful Pakistani in you!

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  • BruteForce
    Oct 16, 2011 - 12:33PM

    @Peace:

    I am from South India and I dont share anything with the Pakistanis, with regard to Culture. Only parts of North and Central India do.

    To equate that to the whole of India is unfair. India is not like the most of the Countries out there, it is very multi-dimensional.

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  • Reality
    Oct 28, 2011 - 1:46PM

    Facepalm. This has the potential of becoming a serious security lapse for Pakistan. Indian businessmen will come here, gather information, bribe, and try their best to develop ‘strategic assets’ with which to assert political influence/control inside Pakistan.

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