Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday sought union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde's intervention for opening of visa consulates of Pakistan and India at Amritsar and Lahore, respectively.
In a communique to Shinde, Sukhbir said he was happy that India and Pakistan were moving towards a liberalised visa regime which would help trade and also cement people-to-people ties.
He said both countries should also take steps to ensure that a larger number of visas were issued, allowing people to cross the border on foot.
Sukhbir said it normally took two months for people to get visa for visiting Pakistan, so the Centre should prevail upon its Pakistan counterpart to curtail this waiting period. He said Pakistan nationals required a sponsorship letter attested by a gazetted officer, a condition they (Pakistanis) found very difficult to meet.
He also suggested that trading bodies such as the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry should be involved for a major role to facilitate traders on both sides to visit each other's country.