Heads of Pakistan, India intelligence agencies to attend visa talks: Report

Published: May 22, 2012

Issues of terrorism also to be taken up in the meetings.

In a first, the heads of intelligence agencies of India and Pakistan are expected to accompany their respective Home-Interior secretaries over talks for a new, relaxed visa regime between the two neighbouring countries, The Times of India reported on Tuesday.

Pakistan’s secretary of Interior Khawaja Siddiqu Akbar and his Indian counterpart Home secretary RK Singh are due to meet in Islamabad between May 24-25 to hammer out a liberalised visa regime. They are due to be accompanied by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director AP Singh and National Investigation Agency chief SC Sinha.

The talks will also focus on cases related to terrorism and take forward confidence-building measures along the Line of Control (LoC), a senior official of the interior ministry stated.

“Yes, an Indian delegation headed by Home Secretary has confirmed its arrival to Islamabad on May 24,” said Foreign Office spokesperson Moazam Ali Khan. “The main objective of visiting delegation is to discuss visa and terrorism related issues.” The spokesperson said that the delegation would consist of 12 members.

Some sources told TOI that the topic of Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and others is may be raised in the meetings. The source added it is also possible that Pakistan raise the issue of Samjhota Express attack, a train service which had been launched between India and Pakistan, but was attacked by extremists, killing as many as 68 people.

Pakistan and India are all set to finalise major changes in their decades-old existing strict bilateral ‘visa regime during this week’s secretary-level talks, which may serve as a catalyst to normalise ties between the archrival neighbours.

Official sources on both sides had told The Express Tribune that it was not yet clear if a compromise will be reached on all the proposals, although agreements have been chalked out on a number of points in previous low-level negotiations.

If a compromise is reached this week, the new ‘liberal visa policy’ will be signed when foreign ministers of both the countries meet in July this year.

on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook

Reader Comments (7)

  • Sunny
    May 22, 2012 - 10:47PM

    Gr8 !! Peace should prevail !Recommend

  • Soho
    May 23, 2012 - 5:19AM

    How about no visa at all?

    Recommend

  • May 23, 2012 - 8:30AM

    Well, most Indians would want nothing to do with Pakistan and there is nothing Pakistan offers to want a visa. Only some Pilgrims would want to visit Pakistani sites, which is expected.

    Its the Pakistanis who want a visa to India. Which is fine too, except that there are thousands of Pakistanis who are living illegally in India already. Some come here to find jobs and stay here illegally, thats the hope. Who knows what else they have planned. Considering Pakistan is the epicenter of Terror world over, there is a high possibility that many of these loopholes could be used by Terrorists to come to India.

    I am guessing this is some of things the Indian Intelligence will bring up.

    Recommend

  • Surya
    May 23, 2012 - 12:18PM

    @Soho:
    I am sorry, that runs against the principle of “two nation theory”. Visa process will be there..either take it or leave it..

    Recommend

  • May 24, 2012 - 1:11AM

    @Bruteforce

    Pakistanis want to go to india? lol

    thousands living there illegally? lol

    do you know, 58% of indian population does not have access to toilets!!

    Recommend

  • Deb
    May 24, 2012 - 3:13PM

    @jerseybb

    India won four wars against us while 58% of Indians having no toilet,became 3rd lagest economy in the world. Imagine what would have happend if all of them had toilets.

    Recommend

  • May 24, 2012 - 8:51PM

    @jerseybb:

    http://www.merinews.com/article/7500-pakistanis-illegally-living-in-india/15860916.shtml?utmsource=twitterfeed&utmmedium=twitter

    A recent RTI application says upto 7500 citizens of Pakistan and Bangladesh are living in India illegally.

    http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/over-700-pakistanis-got-indian-citizenship_763673.html

    700 citizens have applied for Indian Citizenship and got it.

    Should I list the number of Pakistani artists who come to India regularly for work? The same India where there are so many poor, as you so graciously pointed out?

    Pakistan’s economy is barely growing and poverty is increasing. India has poor, but percentage wise it is much lower than Pakistan. I can provide you UN and WB data, but only if you insist.

    Recommend

More in World