India proposes to further consolidate CBMs with Pakistan

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New Delhi, Apr 25 (UNI) To further consolidate Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) with Pakistan, India proposes to liberalise the entry permit system across the Line of Control (LoC), operationalise the Kargil-Skardu and Jammu-Sialkot routes and increase the frequency of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakot bus services.

In a suo motu statement in Parliament today, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said trade and truck services across the LoC would also be operationalised.

These issues would be shortly discussed with Pakistan, he said, adding the measures would increase travel across LoC and enable wider cultural, academic and students and other exchanges.

The entry permit system across the LoC will be liberalised by bringing in features like triple entry permits valid for one year and completion of the verification process within six weeks.

The Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakot bus services would be made weekly instead of the present fortnightly.

''We are proposing early operationalisation of Kargil-Skardu and Jammu-Sialkot routes and increasing the frequency of Srinagar- Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakot bus services to weekly from the present fortnightly. We will discuss these issues with Pakistan shortly,'' the Minister said.

The Home Minister said for the convenience of travellers, applications for entry permit could be made at each District Passport Collection Centre.

UNI RB/NAZ RL BD1420

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