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India suspends group Visa for Pakistan citizens

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NEW DELHI, March 11 – India may put on hold group visas for Pakistani nationals in the wake of heightened tensions along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported. Visa on arrival for Pakistani senior citizens — part of the new India-Pakistan visa agreement — was postponed by the Indian authorities hours before it was due to take effect on Jan 15.

The two countries have agreed to offer group tourist visa facility for their respective citizens from March 15 but it may now be put off as there is no improvement in bilateral relations.

group-visa-for-pak-nationals-may-be-put-on-hold (1)“The decision has to be taken at the highest level. We have no clarification whether the group visa facility will start operating on March 15 although we were preparing to launch it along with visas for Pakistani senior citizens,” a senior Home Ministry official said.

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said last Wednesday the killing of two Indian soldiers in Kashmir in January “had cast a shadow on bilateral relations and  Pakistan should create a conducive environment to normalise the situation.”

“I am also yet to see any tangible progress in dismantling terror infrastructure in Pakistan and bringing to justice perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks,” he said.

BERNAMA