Chandigarh: The signing of visa pact between India and Pakistan on Saturday is set to promote trust and confidence among the countries on both sides of the border, industry body PHDCCI said.

"This decision is intended to boost trade between two nations and this development will also have positive spin-offs for India and the rest of the region," Rajiv Bali, Chairman, Punjab Committee, said in a PHD Chamber release.

R S Sachdeva, co-Chairman, Punjab Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, "Through this announcement (Visa pact), the government is sending positive vibes to not only the business community of both the countries but also the tourist fraternity which in turn shall lead to buoyant and flourishing trade."

Dalip Sharma, Regional Director, PHD Chamber said, "PHD Chamber since long had been advocating and working towards developing harmonious relations with Pakistan by inviting trade delegations from various provinces of Pakistan to interact with the Indian Industry Associations".

Earlier in the day, India and Pakistan signed the much- awaited liberalised visa agreement, introducing for the first time group tourist and pilgrim visas, separate visa for businessmen and visa on arrival for those over 65 years of age.

The new pact, signed between External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik in Islamabad, replaces a 38-year-old restrictive visa agreement and will pave the way for time-bound visa approval and greater people to people contacts and boost trade.


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