The recent visa agreement signed between India and Pakistan is indeed a heart warming development. More so for businessmen than for the common people, who will have only two advantages: they will now be able to visit more cities and will be able to use separate points of entries and exits.

The one big lacuna in the new agreement is that while senior citizens — 65 and above — will be able to get visa on arrival at Wagah and Attari check posts, those in this age group travelling by air will have to go through the same rigmarole of applying for a visa to Islamabad or New Delhi. An important point which seems to have escaped the attention of the signatories is that senior citizens cannot take that rigorous route. For instance, if I have to fly to New Delhi I will have to go from Karachi to Lahore, take a taxi to Wagah, cross the border, take another taxi to Amritsar and then board a train or a flight to Delhi, subject to the availability of a seat. If this oddity in the policy is removed it will be of great help to the senior citizens travelling to and from both countries.

Asif Noorani,


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