India begins visas on arrival to Pakistan's elderly

By AFP
Published: January 15, 2013

The measures to ease cross-border travel come in the wake of rising tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

AMRITSAR: India Tuesday began a process to issue visas on arrival to senior citizens from Pakistan, a customs official said, despite heightened tensions over recent deadly clashes in disputed Kashmir.

The landmark visa agreement was sealed last month, when the interior ministers from both countries met in New Delhi and decided to institute measures making cross-border travel easier.

The new agreement allows Pakistanis aged over 65 to arrive at the Attari/Wagah land border dividing the Punjab region and apply for a single-entry Indian visa for a duration of up to 45 days.

“The process to issue visas on arrival to Pakistani senior citizens has begun,” an Indian customs official on the border told AFP.

The official, who declined to give his name, refused to say if any Pakistanis had made use of the facility so far.

The measures to ease cross-border travel come in the wake of rising tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours, after India last week accused Pakistani troops of killing two of its troops, one of whom was beheaded.

Two Pakistani soldiers were killed by Indian firing in the last nine days along the Line of Control (LoC).

The resumed talks two years ago, after New Delhi suspended negotiations following militant attacks in Mumbai in November 2008 that killed 166 people.

Reader Comments (28)

  • Qasim
    Jan 15, 2013 - 2:15PM

    very good step from India, given the current situation.

    Recommend

  • Major Saab
    Jan 15, 2013 - 2:18PM

    Are they fool ? do they think over 65 person will travel alone ? he/she must be accompanies with some one who is younger to support him/her..

    Recommend

  • C. Nandkishore
    Jan 15, 2013 - 2:21PM

    Very good move. Hope it won’t be stopped.

    Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jan 15, 2013 - 2:39PM

    Great gesture by the Indian side! I hope the Pakistani government reciprocates!

    Recommend

  • indian
    Jan 15, 2013 - 3:19PM

    let peace prevail……….lets live and let live :)

    Recommend

  • salar
    Jan 15, 2013 - 3:38PM

    MADE ON HOLD BY INDIA .. ET please update it !

    Recommend

  • heera
    Jan 15, 2013 - 3:42PM

    ET,latest update,visa process is put on hold amid tension over LOC as reported by Hindustan Times……

    Recommend

  • Nand
    Jan 15, 2013 - 3:46PM

    This proves once again that India is always on a peace path and not a hatred path.

    Recommend

  • Indian Wisdom
    Jan 15, 2013 - 3:56PM
  • Jan 15, 2013 - 4:06PM

    @Major Saab:
    65 years old cannot travel alone? What world are you living in.
    BTW the “Caretakers” of the elderly can take them to the border and their inlaws in India can pick them up from the Indian border.
    not a rocket science you know

    Recommend

  • Rangeela Rasool
    Jan 15, 2013 - 4:24PM

    India puts on hold visa-on-arrival for Pak senior citizensRecommend

  • peshawar
    Jan 15, 2013 - 5:08PM

    Tribune Plz update ur story .India defers visa-on-arrival facility to Pakistani senior citizens

    Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/india-defers-visa-on-arrival-facility-to-pakistani-senior-citizens/1/242343.html plz read on http://www.indiatoday.com

    Recommend

  • Thoughtful
    Jan 15, 2013 - 6:46PM

    Or not.

    Recommend

  • Nitin Gandhi
    Jan 15, 2013 - 6:49PM

    Already Put on hold.!!!

    Recommend

  • Sameer
    Jan 15, 2013 - 6:49PM

    How come all the news is of Pakistanis visiting India (hockey players, bollywood etc.) or wanting to go to India? Why no news of Indians wanting to visit Pakistan?

    Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Jan 15, 2013 - 7:06PM

    Great move by India. Hope we continue to prosper together and collaborate in all walks of life. Really happy to see this.

    Recommend

  • Indian Wisdom
    Jan 15, 2013 - 8:31PM

    @Sameer:
    Good question brother!!!

    Recommend

  • sabi
    Jan 15, 2013 - 9:16PM

    How long this service will work!!

    Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Jan 15, 2013 - 9:25PM

    India should not stop the system of Visas on arrival. Zardari and Raja Asraf needs this “Visa on arrival” system to be in place. Imagine what a force multiplier it would be if India’s G-2 scam Raja & Pakistan’s Rental Power scam Raja could combine their forces?

    Recommend

  • Analyzer
    Jan 15, 2013 - 10:47PM

    Already aborted due to election considerations in India. Tough times ahead for both countries.

    Recommend

  • gp65 .
    Jan 15, 2013 - 11:10PM

    @Major Saab: “Are they fool ? do they think over 65 person will travel alone ? he/she must be accompanies with some one who is younger to support him/her..”

    My parents are 75+ and they travel independently. If someone over 65 is unable to travel independently and needs a younger person to be with them, that younger person will need to get the visa through a regular channel.

    Recommend

  • Schabboo Khan
    Jan 16, 2013 - 1:23AM

    The Indian government has earned my respect. Well done!

    Recommend

  • DilliNiwasi
    Jan 16, 2013 - 1:49AM

    @gp65 .:
    My parents are 79 and 82 and they travel alone all the time between India and US. Are Pakistani less energetic, less healthy or too weak mentally? I don’t think so from the look in the images.

    Recommend

  • J. Sandhu
    Jan 16, 2013 - 4:16AM

    @sameer my mother usually has tears in her eyes when she talks of her home in Pak and the friends she left behind, sure she would like to viist,along with countless others.

    Recommend

  • Jan 16, 2013 - 9:33AM

    @heera:
    Yes this is right. It has been put on hold.
    I do not understand the useful ness of giving visa over age 65 yrs.
    First how many 65yrs old would like to go to India and why to go to India?I will be interested to see the numbers of visa when ever the process is started.

    Personally I would like to go to Dubai , London, or to Saudi Arabia for Hajj or Umra. I personally have no connection to India.So this is no big news for me or for my family.

    Recommend

  • Jan 16, 2013 - 9:38AM

    @J. Sandhu:
    Please grow up. That was almost 65yrs ago. If your mother was twenty yrs old at time ,she must be 85 yrs now. There are not that many 85 yrs old left both in Pakistan and India.Most likely you were born in India and I was born in Pakistan. So we belong to our roots where we were raised and educated. India for me is a foreign country and that’s it.

    Recommend

  • Jan 16, 2013 - 9:42AM

    @gp65 .:
    You are right. There is no need for this kind of step.In the first place, there is no need to go to India.

    Recommend

  • Jan 16, 2013 - 9:23PM

    @SHB:
    Use your brain. 65 is the age of pakistan, so anyone who was born in india but moved to pakistan should be able to visit their place of birth. Also anyone over 65 is less likely to be a terrorist doing a mumbai type of massacre.

    Recommend

More in Pakistan