One step closer: Pakistan, India finalise new visa agreement draft

Streamlined policy will ease visa application process for applicants from either side and help boost trade.


Ppi October 14, 2011

NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan on Friday finalised the draft of new Bilateral Visa Agreement to ease travel for nationals of either country desiring to visit the other, Press Trust of India PTI reported.

The draft was finalized during second meeting of Joint Working Group (JWG) on visa matters which also examined modalities for streamlining visa procedures, an Indian Ministry of External Affairs statement said.

The two-day meeting, held in pursuance of the decision taken during India-Pakistan Home/ Interior Secretary-level talks held in March, was follow-up on deliberations held in first meeting of JWG in Islamabad in June this year.

It was attended by Anil Goswami, Additional Secretary (Foreigners), Ministry of Home Affairs and Nasar Hayat, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Interior from Pakistani. "The discussions were held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere. The two sides finalised 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," MEA said.

COMMENTS (55)

pardesi | 10 years ago | Reply

I for one welcome a better visa regime.

@Ayesha I hear what you are saying. But a large part of the hatred on the other side seems to be due to a misconception that Muslims are treated unfairly in India. I don't think India is perfect when it comes to treatment of minorities (which state is?), but I think our society in general tries hard to be fair. If a crackpot mullah visits India and stirs up trouble, even better we can throw him in jail which the Pak authorities cannot seem to do.

Also I don't think terrorists will wait in line to get a visa etc. They'll row a boat from Karachi or whatever. India will need to still guard against that. But with a better visa regime at least normal Pak civilians will be able to come over, conduct business, make friends etc.

Which is why I am all for it.

All great countries have excellent relations with their neighbors. US/Canada is an example. China/Russia almost had a nuclear exchange in 1969, today they are the best of friends. India's relations with China are finally improving after decades of silly arguments. Its time India/Pak relations improved also.

vickram | 10 years ago | Reply

I am an entrepreneur and I have to visit US often; so far, there has been no problem at the immigration in the US airports. It has been smooth sailing till now. I have seen how certain people are singled out in the immigration counter; apparently the immigration officials have their own 'cues' and 'flags'.

Imagine I visit Pakistan on some business; and my passport will show that I have made a short visit to Pakistan. This is a good enough 'flag' for any immigration official.

I will no longer have an easy time at the immigration line; I will be asked to step aside and I will have to wait interminably.

That means, I will have to pay a heavy price for visiting Pakistan. Is it worth it? Not for Indians, certainly !

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