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Press Release on easing of visa and travel restrictions for Pakistani Nationals

March 25, 1999

Consistent with its policy to promote contacts between the peoples of India and Pakistan at all levels and in keeping with the understandings reached with Pakistan during the visit of Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Pakistan on February 20-21, 1999 and in the meeting of the External Affairs Minister, Shri Jaswant Singh with the Pakistan Foreign Minister, Mr. Sartaj Aziz at Nuwara Eliya on March 19, 1999. The Government of India has decided to ease visa and travel restrictions for the following categories of Pakistani Nationals.

  1. Judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and of the various high courts.
  2. Attorney general, solicitor general and chairperson of the Supreme Court bar association.
  3. Editors-in-chief of national newspapers, and owners/principal functionaries of national newspapers.
  4. Members on national cricket and hockey teams during their tours of India.
  5. Members of the national assemblies and the senate, leaders and deputy leaders of provincial assemblies and leaders and deputy leaders of opposition in provincial assemblies.
  6. Vice Chancellors of recognized /approved universities.
  7. Secretaries/Secretary rank officers on the federal government of Pakistan.
  8. Spouse, dependent children, i.e., sons up to 18 years of age and unmarried daughters on persons in above-mentioned categories.

Visas holders in the above mentioned categories would be exempt from police reporting. They will be entitled to multiple entry visas of up to one-year duration. They will also be exempt from the restrictions of city specific visas and will be entitled to travel anywhere in India except certain specified areas for which prior permission would be required.

The relaxations would come into effect on April 2,1999.

Some relaxations have also been made in the regime governing visits on tourist groups to India. Tour operators only will have to report the arrival of a group to the police at each destination within India. Individual members on a tourist group will not be required to do so. This relaxation will come into effect shortly.