India starts visa-on-arrival for Pakistani senior citizens

NEW DELHI, India - After dithering over the decision for over two months, India has finally started a “visa-on-arrival” facility for Pakistani senior citizens on a reciprocal basis, the Dispatch N

India starts visa-on-arrival for Pakistani senior citizens

NEW DELHI, India – After dithering over the decision for over two months, India has finally started a “visa-on-arrival” facility for Pakistani senior citizens on a reciprocal basis, the Dispatch News Desk (DND) reported.

Senior Pakistani citizens of more than 65 years of age will now get visa-on-arrival (VOA) at the Attari/Wagah check-post for 45 days. It will be a single-entry visa. The facility was scheduled to be started from January 15. Though Indian officials had then said that the operationalization of the VOA was delayed, as several security agencies sought clarifications on facilities to be offered to the Pakistani citizens without Indian sponsors. It later appeared to be just a pretext of putting it on hold due to tensions along the LOC.

Both the countries decided to issue a single entry VOA to each other’s senior citizens under a new liberalized visa agreement in September last year. 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, however, operationalized after Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and his Pakistani counterpart, Rehman Malik, had formally launched the new visa regime on December 14, 2012.

However, no decision has been taken on the stalled group tourist visa facility to Pakistani nationals. The two countries had agreed to operationalize the group tourist visa facility to be offered to each other’s citizens from March 15.

www.dnd.com.pk

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