India, Pakistan set to sign liberal visa pact
The home secretaries of India and Pakistan will Thursday begin two-day talks in Islamabad when they are expected to sign a liberalized visa regime and discuss issues related to 26/11.
A 12-member delegation led by Home Secretary R.K. Singh Wednesday left for Islamabad for the talks during which India will press for action against perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack.
Also to be discussed will be issues related to terrorism.
The government told the Lok Sabha Tuesday that there were 42 terrorist training camps in Pakistan and in Pakistani Kashmir and that a majority of these camps are reported to be active.
Singh will have wide-ranging talks with his Pakistani counterpart K. M. Siddique Akbar, leading to the new visa agreement.
The fresh visa regime is likely to include, among other things, tourist visas to each other's citizens and issue of visas on arrival at the Wagah-Attari border for senior citizens and young children.
India is also expected to ask for action against fugitives from Indian law like crime boss Dawood Ibrahim who are suspected to be sheltering in Pakistan, said official sources.
Humanitarian issues like the expeditious release of Indian fishermen and civilians in Pakistani jails are also expected to be discussed.
The talks between the home secretaries were long overdue. They got a fresh momentum after Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari visited India April 8 and promised to fast-track prosecution of the 26/11 terrorists.
The last round of home secretary-level talks was held in New Delhi in March 2011.