Chandigarh: While India and Pakistan were moving towards a liberalised visa regime, the need for a Pakistan consulate in Amritsar and an Indian consulate in Lahore was being felt by people, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said Friday.

In a communique to union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Badal stressed the importance of a consulate in Amritsar.

The step would facilitate the issuance of visas and would help build ties among people and traders on both sides, he said.

At present, he said, people and traders from Punjab wanting to go to Pakistan had to get their visas from the high commission in New Delhi.

In Pakistan, people in Punjab province had to go to Islamabad for an Indian visa.

While Amritsar is 30 km from the Attari-Wagah check post on the international border, Lahore city is 20 km from it.

Badal said tourism and medical tourism could be encouraged along with trade between both countries if the consulates were opened.


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