Aiming to attract large number of tourists from India, Pakistan for the first time has liberalised visa regime for Indian nationals making it easier for group tourists, professionals, businessmen, media personnel as well as diplomats to obtain hitherto stringently regulated visas.
Announcing an overall liberalisation of Pakistan's visa policy, Interior Minister Aftab Khan Shepao said the country has now expanded the list of nations that are entitled for easy visa facility from 48 to 175 and visas for Indians have been liberalised on many fronts on reciprocal basis.
"While liberalising our overall visa policy worldwide, special care has been taken to promote travel and tourism with India to improve confidence building measures (CBMs) between the two countries," Sherpao said.
He said Pakistan has approved most of the proposals forwarded by India, which included 30 days visas for Indian group tourists through designated operators as well pilgrim visas for Indians.
From now on pilgrim groups with not less than 10 members would be allowed to visit their specified holy shrines on a 15-day-visa instead of five-day visas issued in the past.
He said Pakistan now will also grant two-year visas for "civil society" persons, senior citizens, widows and divorcees.