Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 7. A new visa regime between India and Pakistan is set to be operationalised on November 22-23 even as India told its neighbour that infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir was continuing unabated despite assurances by Islamabad.
The visa regime is likely to be operationalised when Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik visits India on November 22-23. Malik had indicated the dates of his visit to India when he met his Indian counterpart, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde as the two met in Rome on the sidelines of the Interpol General Assembly. Rehman could also be visiting Agra to see the Taj Mahal.
Even as the two countries are headed for a new visa regime, Shinde told his Pakistani counterpart that the promises made by Pakistani leaders have not been implemented on the ground while infiltration from across the border to Jammu and Kashmir continues to thrive. Shinde and Malik met on sidelines of the Interpol General Assembly in Rome, official sources said here today.
Promises to check infiltration have not been realised and Islamabad must take immediate action to rectify the situation, Shinde said.
The visa agreement was signed by former Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Malik in Islamabad on September 8. This will ease restrictions on issuing visas to traders, elderly people, tourists, pilgrims, members of civil society and children.
The new Indo-Pak visa pact replaces a 38-year-old visa agreement, paving the way for time-bound visa approval and greater people-to-people contact and trade.