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Rediff.com  » News » Visa-on-arrival for Pak nationals above 65 yrs from Jan 15

Visa-on-arrival for Pak nationals above 65 yrs from Jan 15

January 09, 2013 21:48 IST

The visa-on-arrival facility at the Attari-Wagah check post to Pakistani nationals over 65 years of age will begin from January 15, but they would not be able to stay in Punjab, Kerala and Jammu & Kashmir.

"From January 15, people from Pakistan above 65 years of age can avail the visa-on-arrival on reaching the Attari Integrated Check Post," a government official said.

"It has been decided not to give visa-on-arrival for stay in Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, besides restrictive and prohibitive regions. Amritsar will only be used as transit point," the official added.

Under the liberalised visa regime, parts of which were operationalised during the visit of Pakistan interior minister Rehman Malik to New Delhi on December 14, senior citizens above 65 years can visit twice a year and can go to five places in the country.

However, there has to be a gap of two months between the two visits. Both the countries are likely to start this arrangement simultaneously at the Attari-Wagah check-post.

The official said that visa, which would be granted to people in the prescribed age group crossing the border on foot, would be given for maximum of 45 days of stay in one visit and the visa fee would be Rs 100 or two US dollars.

In September 2012, the then External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Malik signed a pact liberalising the restrictive visa agreement between India and Pakistan.

At present, nearly 100 person use Attari Wagah check post daily to cross border on foot with a good number of senior citizens. The new system is being introduced to facilitate senior citizens who mostly come for treatment or reunion with relatives in India.

Now with the new mechanism, the number is likely to increase, the official said.

Joyeeta Dey in Attari