In a bid to strengthen the fragile Indo-Pak relations, India has started the ‘visa-on-arrival’ facility for senior citizens from Pakistan.
Sources said that the facility under the liberalised visa regime was operationalised on April 1 and senior Pakistani citizens above 65 years will now get visa at Attari check post for 45 days.
After the gruesome killing of two Indian soldiers, the proposed facility was suspended on January 15, 2013. India had hardened its stand and all exchange programs including the liberalised visa agreement signed between the two countries in September last year were put on hold.
The ‘visa-on-arrival’ for senior citizens, was supposed to start on January 15, the day Indian security and Intelligence agencies held a high-level review meeting to discuss the threat from Pakistan. “No decision has been taken on the group visa under new liberalised visa agreement to Pakistani nationals,” sources said.
During the operationalisation of new liberal visa regime in December last year, the two countries had agreed to start the group tourist visa facility for each other’s citizens from March 15, 2013 but it was later put on hold.
In March, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had stated that the barbaric killing of Indian soldiers on the LoC, had cast a shadow on bilateral relations and asked the Pakistan to create a conducive environment.