Ind starts visa-on-arrival facility for senior Pak citizens

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New Delhi, April 5: After delaying for over two months, India has finally started the ‘visa-on-arrival' (VoA) facility for senior Pakistani citizens on reciprocal basis. Under this facility, senior Pakistani citizens aged over 65 will get visas on arrival at Attari/Wagah check-post for 45 days. It will be a single-entry visa.

The facility was scheduled to be started from January 15 but was put on hold in the wake of the border flare-up after the January 8 killing of two Indian soldiers by the Pakistani Army in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indian officials said the implementation of the VoA facility was delayed as the security agencies sought clarifications on the facilities that would be offered to the Pakistani citizens without Indian sponsors, it, however, later appeared to be just a pretext of putting it on hold owing to the border tension.

The neighbouring countries decided to issue single-entry VoAs to each other's senior citizens under a new liberalized visa agreement in September last year.

Some provisions of the relaxed visa regime like multiple-entry and reporting-free visas for businessmen and allowing them to travel to five cities instead of three were operationalised after India's Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik had formally launched the new visa regime in December last year.

OneIndia News

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