NEW DELHI: India after the brief opening of visas for Pakistan once again has taken a new step towards relations with Pakistan, by starting visa on on arrival facility for senior citizens of Pakistan.
This facility, was supposed to start on January 15 as part of the new liberalised visa pact between the two neighbours, was suspended following the killing of two Indian soldiers along the LoC and subsequent heightened tensions in bilateral relations.
“We have launched visa on arrival facility to Pakistani senior citizens at the Attari Integrated Check Post from April 1,” a Home Ministry official told.
However, no decision has been taken on the stalled group tourist visa facility to Pakistani nationals. The two countries had agreed to operationalise the group tourist visa facility to be offered to each other’s citizens from March 15.
Though there is no visible forward movement in India- Pakistan bilateral relations, the reason for the sudden launch of the visa for Pakistani senior citizens was not immediately known.
Some clauses of the relaxed visa regime like multiple- entry and reporting-free visas for businessmen and allowing them to travel to five cities instead of the earlier three were operationalised when Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik visited New Delhi in December.