India approves new visa deal for Pakistanis

ISLAMABAD:  The Indian cabinet approved new and easing visa policies for pakistanis after signing an accord between the heads of both countries.

With India and Pakistan already talking of working out a deal to allow almost all commodities in the positive list to be traded through the land route on the Wagah border, the Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing a new liberal visa regime with Pakistan paving way for easing travel restrictions and increasing people-to-people exchange.

The Cabinet of India stated in a statement that Businessmen with multiple entry, non-police reporting visas can visit five cities instead of three. However, the provision will apply only to business persons whose credentials are certified by the chambers on the both sides.

From India, it will be FICCI and from Pakistani side it will be the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

Similarly, it is being proposed, under the new visa regime, that senior citizens would be exempt from police reporting on both sides.

The two countries decided to ease visa regulations during the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on April 8.