Tuesday, January 15, 2013

India puts on hold visa-on-arrival for Pakistan senior citizens

The visa-on-arrival facility for Pak nationals above 65 years was supposed to start on Tuesday at an Attari check post.
NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday put on hold the operationalisation of visa-on-arrival for senior citizens of Pakistan amid mounting tension on the Line of Control(LoC).

Government sources said the decision was taken after several agencies sought clarifications on facilities to be offered to the Pakistani citizens though the continued tension along the LoC following killing of two soldiers by Pakistani troops could be the apparent reason.

The visa-on-arrival facility for Pakistani nationals above 65 years was supposed to start on Tuesday at the Attari integrated check post (ICP) under the new visa agreement between India and Pakistan signed in September 2012 to ease cross-border travel as part of confidence-building measures(CBM).

Some clauses of the relaxed visa regime like multiple-entry and reporting-free visas for businessmen and allowing them to visit five cities instead of the earlier three was operationalised when Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik visited New Delhi on December 14-16, 2012.

No new date has been fixed for operationalisation of the visa on arrival facility to the Pakistani senior citizens.

"We will take a decision at an appropriate time," government sources said.

The objections raised by some agencies include whether visiting senior citizens were required to have a sponsor in India before granting them visa on arrival.

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