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Easier visas a new era in Pakistan, India ties: Daily

world Updated: Oct 16, 2011 14:48 IST
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India and Pakistan's decision to have a liberalised visa regime signals a new era in their ties, said a Pakistani daily on Sunday.

An editorial in the News International said the Pakistani and Indian governments have at last decided to "enter a new era of bilateral relations", as the Joint Working Group (JWG) of the two countries has prepared a draft of a liberalised visa regime setting easier terms of travel for businessmen across their border.

The new agreement will allow the businessmen of both countries to get multiple entry visas and visit more than three cities in the other country.

"This latest development is very welcome. It will surely help reduce tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries of South Asia, an otherwise volatile region," the editorial said.

Describing it as commendable, the editorial said that after 64 years, the governments of Pakistan and India have been successful in conducting meetings with each other in a cordial and friendly atmosphere.

"It has proved that promotion of trade and mutual investment is indeed the right way to confidence building between the two historically hostile countries, as has been experienced throughout the world. The latest moves on bilateral trade would definitely bring the two countries closer while helping to normalise their tense relations," it added.

The editorial said: "It (Pakistan) will now trade with India on the basis of a negative list separately crafted for India and later move on to a MFN (Most Favoured Nation) regime as it committed during the commerce secretaries’ meeting in April this year."

At present, Pakistan allows imports of 1,934 items from India contained in a positive list against more than 6,000 items allowed from other South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) members.