Pak, India may soon liberalise visa regime

June 6th, 2008 - 3:08 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad , June 6 (ANI): Pakistan and India are considering liberalising their visa regime to ease travel by people from the two countries, Pakistan Foreign Affairs Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said.

Speaking in the National Assembly last evening, he said a draft visa agreement was under discussion in the composite dialogue process between the two countries.

I will be visiting India soon and hope there will be a positive development in this regard, the Daily Times quoted him as saying.

He added that efforts were also being made to exempt citizens of both countries from having to register with police during their visits to each others countries.

The minister also said that 518 Pakistani nationals were currently imprisoned in India , but Indian authorities have acknowledged the presence of only 147 Pakistani prisoners in its jails. Qureshi said the Indian government had assured the Pakistan Mission in New Delhi that it would shortly provide names of the remaining prisoners.

In this regard, the minister said that Islamabad and New Delhi had recently signed an agreement to give consular access to prisoners from the two countries.

Under the agreement, he added, the Indian authorities will have to inform the Pakistani authorities about who has been detained and what crime it is alleged they have committed. He further said that a judicial committee was due to visit prisoners in Pakistan next week, followed by the rapid to prisons in India to ensure the expeditious release of the prisoners who had completed their sentences. (ANI)

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