India, Pakistan likely to sign visa pact Saturday

September 7th, 2012 - 7:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Sep 7 (IANS) The much-awaited visa agreement between India and Pakistan could be signed Saturday, Indian sources said here Friday.

The visa agreement could be a game changer for people-to-people contact between the two neighbours as visa rules for specified categories could be eased by both sides.

“The agreement is likely to be signed tomorrow (Saturday),” an Indian external affairs ministry source said here.

Though India had said earlier that it was ready to sign the visa pact, Pakistan had to clear some formalities on its part.

The new visa policy will have eight categories.

“The types include diplomatic, non-diplomatic, 36 hour transit visit, tourist visas, civil society, media and business visas,” Pakistan daily The News reported on its website, quoting Pakistan foreign office sources at the end of the two-hour long meeting between the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan here Friday.

“The tourist visa will be limited to five destinations and will be valid for a period of six months, while the diplomatic visa category will offer visas to the consular, the consular mission and their family members,” the daily said.

The two foreign secretaries, India’s Ranjan Mathai and Pakistan’s Jalil Abbas Jilani, met here Friday before the minister-level talks between Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and his Pakistan counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar Saturday.

Krishna arrived here Friday on a three-day visit to Pakistan.

He will also visit Lahore Sunday before flying back home.

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