Businessmen multiple visa accord signs between Pakistan, India today

NEW DELHI: To boost bilateral trade, Pakistan and India will finalize a new visa agreement which will make it easier for certified businessmen from both sides to get one-year multiple-entry non-reporting visas, Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik said. Malik said this decision was taken at meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday in New Delhi. “When Pakistan President had met Indian PM, I was there too. They discussed that new visa agreement needs to be finalized at the earliest,” he said. “This agreement will allow businessmen from both sides to be given multiple-entry one-year, non reporting visas,” he added. He was speaking at function organized by ASSOCHAM to welcome Pakistan business delegation. “I feel that this will be one of the biggest achievements of new visa (regime) that importance of businessmen has been recognized by both the nations,” Malik said. He said he hoped that during future meeting of Home Secretaries of the two countries, the agreement would be finalized. He said dates for the meeting had not been finalized yet. Later speaking to reporters, Pakistan High Commissioner said “there is a provision to give one-year multiple-entry visa to those businessmen whose credentials are certified by the chambers on both sides. From India, it will be FICCI and from our side it will be Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry FPCCI,” he said. Asked if businessmen from two countries will be able to visit all the cities in each other’s territory, he said visas will not allow travel to all parts.