'India-Pak to sign new visa accord to help businessmen'
Posted on: 01:38 AM IST Apr 10, 2012
New Delhi: To boost bilateral trade, India and Pakistan will finalise a new visa agreement which will make it easier for certified businessmen from both sides to get one-year multiple-entry non-reporting visas, Pakistani High Commissioner Shahid Malik said on Monday.
Malik said this decision was taken at the meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.
"When Pakistan President had met the Indian PM, I was there too. They discussed that the new visa agreement needs to be finalised at the earliest," Malik said.
"This agreement will allow businessmen from both sides to be given multiple-entry one-year, non reporting visas," he added. Malik was speaking at a function organised by ASSOCHAM to welcome a Pakistani business delegation.
"I feel that this will be one of the biggest achievements of the new visa (regime) that importance of businessmen has been recognised by both the nations," Malik said.
He said he hoped that during the future meeting of Home Secretaries of the two countries, the agreement will be finalised. He said the dates for the meeting had not been finalised yet.
Later speaking to reporters, the Pakistani High Commissioner said "there is a provision to give one-year multiple-entry visa to those businessmen whose credentials are certified by the chambers on the both sides."
"From India, it will be FICCI and from our side it will be Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)," he said.
Asked if businessmen from the two countries will be able to visit all the cities in each other's territory, he said the visas will not allow travel to all parts.