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Visa on arrival for Pakistani senior citizens put on hold

Contract Killer

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Jan 21, 2011
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New Delhi: The process of issuing visas on arrival to Pakistani senior citizens at Wagah, which was to begin today, has been delayed. There is immediate speculation on whether the sudden move is linked with tension with Pakistan along the Line of Control in Kashmir.

The government has so far resolutely said that the recent tension will not derail the liberalised visa agreement signed between India and Pakistan last year. Visa on arrival for Pakistanis over the age of 65 at the Attari-Wagah border joint check post is part of that agreement and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said last week, "We are not rethinking the agreement. Whatever agreement we entered into, we will honour that."

Government officials said today that this was a technical delay caused by last-minute clarifications sought by some agencies on whether Pakistani senior citizens who get this visa need to have a sponsor in India.

Wagah, 30 km from Amritsar, the capital of Punjab, was all ready to issue its first batch of visas this morning, but no Pakistani had sought one till about 2 pm, when the delay was suddenly announced. One Indian had crossed over to Pakistan and had not returned and officials said they presumed he had been issued a visa on arrival in Pakistan, which too was to have begun a similar process today.

This morning, the Army said Pakistan had violated ceasefire along the LoC thrice since a brigadier-level flag meeting held yesterday. At the meeting, India had lodged a strong protest against ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) and also expressed concern at the barbaric way Pakistani troops treated the bodies of Indian soldiers killed after an ambush last week.

The main opposition party, the BJP, has demanded a tough stand against Pakistan over the ceasefire violations and the barbaric treatment of the bodies of the two Indian soldiers, and it wants an immediate review of engagement with Pakistan at all levels.

India and Pakistan had signed the agreement for a liberalised visa regime in September last year. Visa on arrival for Pakistani senior citizens and children under 12, will allow a single entry on foot across Wagah-Attari and will be valid for 45 days. Pakistanis issued this visa will not be allowed to visit Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and other restricted areas.

The facility, once operational, will be offered for the first time since Independence; it can be availed twice a year and people issued this visa will not have to report to local police stations. According to a statement issued by the Indian High Commission, the visa on arrival facility can be availed only "to visit India to meet friends or relatives" and it cannot be used for business, medical, conference, employment, pilgrimage or any other purpose. For these categories, applicants will have to approach the Indian High Commission and apply for regular visas.

Those who avail the visa on arrival at Wagah will have to return to Pakistan the same way - across the border checkpost on foot. They cannot change their mode of travel by, say, taking the Samjhauta Express train or a bus on their way back.

The Wagah border integrated check post was inaugurated last year. It houses a huge complex, an immigration office and also a special counter for visas on arrival. The counter opened for the first time this morning.

Visa on arrival for Pakistani senior citizens put on hold | NDTV.com
 

Soumitra

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Jan 11, 2011
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Chalo kuch to theek hua. Yesterday army chief gave tough message, today finally Manmohan Singh spoke , Pakistani players sent back and visa on arrival put on hold.
We have to send a message to Pakistan that beheading of soldiers and peace process can't go on parallely
 

Jade

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In the first instance what is the need for such visa. Why agree on such a visa and then put on hold
 

xyxmt

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Aman ke Asha ka Janaza

Chalo kuch to theek hua. Yesterday army chief gave tough message, today finally Manmohan Singh spoke , Pakistani players sent back and visa on arrival put on hold.
We have to send a message to Pakistan that beheading of soldiers and peace process can't go on parallely

message is received very well
currently working on sending phoolon ke tokri and mithai
 

KS

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This is nothing..suspend the peace process till the head of the martyr is received.
 

Papa

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Finally our PM spoke :rofl::rofl::rofl:

lolcats-rofl.jpg
 

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