Spl panel to prepare stricter visa policy for Pak nationals

Anxious that migrants and terrorists may take advantage of the year-end Indo-Pak cricket series to slip into the country through legal channels, the Ministry of Home Affairs has formed a special committee to prepare a stricter visa policy for Pakistanis.

Though the visas are issued by the external affairs ministry, the security implications of giving entry to Pakistan nationals has to be assessed by the ministry of home affairs with the aide of intelligence agencies.

The committee will meet on Monday to consider if it should impose a restriction on giving visas to one or more matches or stipulate the number of visas for the whole three match ODI and two t20 matches from Dec 25 to Jan 7.

The ODIs will be held in Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai, while Bangalore and Ahmedabad will host the two T20s.

The special committee will also factor in the new liberalized visa regime India and Pakistan had signed on September, which was ratified by Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf’s cabinet on Wednesday.  

The two nations, however, have not implemented it since Pakistan wants to do it at a big occasion, such as the cricket series in two months time, to claim political mileage.
Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde is expected to meet his counterpart Rehman Malik in Rome where both are attending Interpol General Assembly.

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