New Delhi: India is “positive” on liberalising the visa regime with Pakistan to facilitate greater people-to-people contacts between the two nations, Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Friday.
“We have liberalised considerably but in the Home Secretary-level talks there was a suggestion that we should meet again and a joint working group should be constituted to explore further liberalisation.
“We are positive to the idea that there must be a liberal visa regime between India and Pakistan. So a joint working group would suggest further liberalisation,” he said during his monthly press briefing.
According to a joint statement issued on 29 March after the two-day home secretary level talks with Pakistan, both the sides had agreed to set-up a JWG to examine the modalities for streamlining the visa procedure and for giving a final shape to the revision of bilateral visa agreement.
Under the proposal, the visa issued for journalists, businessmen, senior citizens or patients travelling for treatment will not be city specific and visa holders would be allowed to travel across the country, official sources said.
The Indian side is understood to have proposed to relax norms for people who have a valid visa and want to travel again within the span of two years by removing time-consuming security background check process which is done from here.
The Indian High Commission in Pakistan will be empowered to issue necessary permission to such travellers, they said.