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    Visa free travel between India and Pakistan

    Would love to see the day. Hope it happens in my lifetime.

    India, Pakistan mull visa-free travelling

    ISLAMABAD: India and Pakistan are considering to remove visa restrictions for people of the two sides to foster bilateral peace and friendship, an unofficial Indian peace promoter Nirmala Dashpande said on Wednesday.

    In an interview with this agency, She said that the two sides were also thinking over how to simplify the existing visa procedures.

    Dashpande, a former Indian parliament member, is in Pakistan as the head of a 20-member delegation of intellectuals and former senior Indian military officers, as part of Track-II diplomacy or unofficial bids to promote peace.

    Dashpande said the former Indian military officials are reciprocating to a similar visit by retired Pakistani generals, last year. The Pakistani generals who visited India were: Rao Hameed, Jamshed Malik and Naseer Akhtar.

    She called for increasing people-to-people interaction between the two countries. She said a team of Indian journalists is soon to visit Pakistan.

    Speaking of India, Dashpande said India has also softened its attitude where all political parties supported negotiations with Pakistan over Kashmir. She criticised the Indian decision of conducting nuclear tests. "That amounted to stupidity," she remarked.



    #2
    As a Pakistani I appreciate this confidence building mission by the retired army officers of the Indian army. These officers were recieved warmly at Wagha border after arriving from New-Delhi, onboard a peace-mission bus. I think these kind of confidence-building exchange visits will lead to the better understanding of each other's point of view.


    Visa-free-travel will bring obout robust economic growth in the whole region resulting in uplifting the socio-economic status of ordinary person, beside cultural interaction.

    It really now depends on India how willing it is in starting negotiations. Pakistani has said repeatdly on all level that the dialogue must be commenced sooner than later.




    [This message has been edited by Abdullah k (edited March 01, 2001).]

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      #3
      we in south asia should follow same visa rules followed by european union. slowly it should be extented to other areas.
      it will also solve kashmiri problem if we open up borders as kashmiris will feel united
      rigid thinking should give away new innovative methods in describing a independant state.kashmir can be a independant state retaining its own unique
      identity without being dragged into indo-pak
      competition. as long as no indian and pakistani army present in kashmir it does not
      matter what country it belongs

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        #4
        These are the right sort of noises, but I have very little faith in anything coming of it. At the moment, India cannot bring itself to play a cricket game against Pakistan - even turning down a match where proceeds would have went towards the earthquake appeal.

        Trade deals have also been affected by this attitude, i.e. the proposed Gas pipeline from central asia which would run through Pakistan. If India can learn to seperate these issues, then that would be a start. No country should cut off it's nose to spite it's face. That is merely childish.

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          #5
          i doubt till terrorist continue coming in from pak. it would be an unwise move from indian govt.

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            #6
            european powes fought with each other so long now look what happened european union formed. once people realise confrontaion benefits no one countries attitude change.
            it is only the elite in both countries
            fosters confrontation for their selfish
            interests ignoring silent majority .
            even people like us gets sucked in to the confrontation

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              #7
              Out of curiosity, how easy (or difficult) is it for Indians with U.S. or U.K. citizenship to go to Pakistan?

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                #8
                it is only the elite in both countries
                fosters confrontation for their selfish


                I don't think so..are u saying most of the Pakistani participants on this board are elites?

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Rani:
                  I don't think so..are u saying most of the Pakistani participants on this board are elites?
                  What percent of Pakistanis/Indians have internet access?

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                    #10
                    Frankly, I don't want this to happen. IMHO, for everything that has been Pakistan , it is better to keep a safe distance from it. If it may need, we can smile at each other and shake hands as friends, but I repel at thought of a hug!

                    I will vote for the party who opposes this move (if it ever becomes an election issue.)

                    Though it hurts even if I think about the families that suffered during partition, 53 years since then, now, I believe it was a very good thing to have happened for India. Visa rules must be made as stringent as possible and visas must be provided only after keen examination of Pakistanis background.

                    If pakistan wants it, they can do the same for Indians. A stable pakistan at a safe distance is in the best interest of India. Period!


                    [This message has been edited by kumarakn (edited March 01, 2001).]

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                      #11
                      Saddening response from most Indian counterparts.

                      I personally couldnt care less about happens regarding this issue, but the reason I think it would do good is because it would foster better relations on a public level. Plus, it would enable split up families to meet up more easily and frequently. There are thousands of families that have relatives on both sides.
                      Apart from that, the political ramifications will be good as well. Trade barriers would be broken, and basic neccessities would fall within the buying range of the common man. However, if one side is not willing, it cant be done.

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                        #12
                        Akif,
                        It would be great if we could have the kind of relations that US and Canada share, but that is never going to happen -- ever !! Our nations were not created in normal circumstances. Things cannot go back to normal. Most Indians feel that Pakistani politicians will continue to feel insecure as long as there is a large Muslim population in India (this is our view). Some Pakistanis say that India has not accepted Pakistan as a sovereign Islamic state. On the other hand I'll say that Pakistan has not accepted India has a sovereign, secular republic. Till the time we don't accept each others national ideologies, there won't be peace, let alone visa free travel. Xtreme makes a good point about the Indian government banning cricket with Pakistan. Pakistan officialy banned Indian movies in 1965. Will they allow Indian movies to be shown in Pakistani theatres -- no !! Most Pakistanis say that even watching Indian movies was bad as long as India continued its so called "repression" in Kashmir. I'll agree with that. But along the same lines will it not be appropriate for us to say that it is ridiculous to play cricket (or any other game) with Pakistan as long as Pakistan supports terrorism (thats what we call it) in India.

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                          #13
                          Being from Amritsar, all's I can say is that Visa free travel to Lahore would be one of the greatest things. Imagine celebrating Basant or Baisaki across borders?

                          This is a dream for the average citizen, and not something the governments will do anytime soon.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by astrosfan:
                            Being from Amritsar, all's I can say is that Visa free travel to Lahore would be one of the greatest things. Imagine celebrating Basant or Baisaki across borders?

                            This is a dream for the average citizen, and not something the governments will do anytime soon.
                            You are kidding, think of the cultural differences. After long time our women are free to come and go where ever they want..all that will end when we will have hordes of muslims decending on us in Amritsar. Most of these people have no idea how to interact with opposite sex.

                            You should have said dream of average male citizen, you are only representing male point of view and not thinking of society as whole ..do you think Indian women would be able to participate in Basant and Vasaki in Lahore.

                            Please think about others and whole society when you make statements like this.

                            I agree with Kumari and good hand shake but no hug and tough visa requirements.



                            [This message has been edited by Rani (edited March 02, 2001).]

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                              #15
                              Rani.

                              You have to venture out of this tunnel mentality every once in a while. Its nice and refreshing outside.

                              Women celebrate basant in Pakistan with just as much fervor as do men. If your idea of freedom for women is to enable them to roam topless or in skimpy outfits, then no, you wont get that. But 'repression of women' is an age old phrase, that has lost its touch. And besides, for every example that u cite regarding Pakistan, 100 worse examples can be cited regarding India. Indian women do not enjoy a heavenly life. Dont base ur assumption on the 12 'successful indian women in silicon valley' or '15 successful women CEOs from india'. India has the second highest population in the world....soon to be the highest. And of that, half are women....thats more than 500 million. Out of 500 million, 20 success stories dont translate into 'great india' and 'not-so-great pakistan'.

                              As for visa free travelling, I think its no secret that relations between the countries on the public level are just fine. Its the political relations that leave a lot to be desired. Muslim population in india has nothing to do with it, and is in no way intimidating to Pakistan. However, I do agree that it will take a lot more than a wish to abolish this system.

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