Home Secy-level talks today
IB,NIA Heads Part Of GOI Delegation
New Delhi, May 23: A 12-member delegation, led by Home Secretary R K Singh, Wednesday left for Pakistan for the Home Secretary-level talks beginning tomorrow where a relaxed visa regime is expected to be inked.
Singh is accompanied by a 12-member delegation.
He will have wide-ranging talks with his Pakistani counterpart K M Siddique Akbar, leading to the new visa agreement.
The fresh visa regime is likely to include, among other things, tourist visas to each other’s citizens and issue of visas on arrival at the Wagah-Attari border for senior citizens and young children.
The new visa agreement will introduce the concept of group tourist visa, visa on arrival and a separate category of business visas. The Union Cabinet had given its nod for signing the agreement on April 25.
The pact will benefit people of both the countries as it will facilitate multiple-entry and reporting-free visas for businessmen, allowing them to visit five cities instead of three as at present, exempt elderly people from police reporting, allowing common people from either country to visit three earmarked cities instead of one and introducing visa on arrival facility at Wagah for senior citizens and children.
The Indian delegation will also discuss on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) along Line of Control (LoC).
Singh had recently visited Jammu and Kashmir to have an on-the-spot assessment of the problems being faced by the traders involved in the trance LoC trade. Accordingly, certain proposals have been formulated by the Government of India in consultation with the state government to be discussed with government of Pakistan.
Significantly, the delegation includes Intelligence Bureau Director Nehchal Sandhu, National Investigation Agency chief SC Sinha and officials from Home and External Affairs Ministries and CBI.
India is also expected to ask for action against fugitives from Indian law like Dawood Ibrahim who are suspected to be sheltering in Pakistan, said official sources.
Humanitarian issues like the expeditious release of Indian fishermen and civilians in Pakistani jails are also expected to be discussed.
The talks between the home secretaries were long overdue. They got a fresh momentum after Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari visited India April 8 and promised to fast-track prosecution of the 26/11 attackers.
The last round of home secretary-level talks was held in New Delhi in March 2011.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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