Islamabad: The much awaited liberalised visa agreement between India and Pakistan will be signed on Saturday, official sources on Friday said.

The new agreement will replace the old and tardy visa regime that was signed in 1974.

The pact will benefit people of both the countries as it will facilitate multiple-entry and reporting-free visas for businessmen, allowing them to visit five cities instead of three as at present.

It will also exempt elderly people from police reporting, allowing common people from either country to visit three earmarked cities instead of one and introducing visa on arrival facility at Wagah for senior citizens and children.

The new pact will act as a great boost to people to people contact, a source said.

Earlier in the day, when asked if the new visa agreement would be signed during External Affairs Minister S M Krishna's three-day visit here, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar had said, "inshaallah (God willing). Should be."

Sources pointed out that India was always ready for signing the agreement. It was originally supposed to be signed in May during the Home/Interior Secretary-level talks held here in May, but Pakistan backed out at last minute.

Pakistan wanted the agreement to be signed at the political level.

Pakistan media report today quoting their Foreign Office sources said a consensus has been made over the Pakistan-India visa issuance policy, and it has been decided that 8 categories of visas will be issued.

The types include diplomatic, non-diplomatic, 36 hour transit visit, tourist visas, civil society, media and business visas.

The consensus came during the meeting held today between Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and his Pakistani counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani.


Latest News from World News Desk