India asks Pak to stop infiltration in J&K

India asks Pak to stop infiltration in J&K

7 November 2012
The Daily Excelsior


NEW DELHI: India has told Pakistan that infiltration from that country continued unabated despite assurances by Islamabad in various fora that it will not allow its soil to be used against New Delhi. In a blunt message, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik that the promises made by Pakistani leaders have not been implemented on the ground as infiltration from across the border to Jammu and Kashmir continue to thrive. Shinde conveyed this to Malik on the sidelines of the Interpol General Assembly in Rome, official sources said here today. Shinde also reminded Malik that when they had met in September in the Maldives on the sidelines of SAARC Home-Interior Ministers meeting, he (Malik) had assured him (Shinde) that Pakistan would do the needful to address India's concern. Shinde told his Pakistani counterpart that the promise to check infiltration has not been visible on the ground and Islamabad must take immediate action to stop that. Malik conveyed to Shinde that Pakistan government was doing the needful and the action would be visible on the ground soon. The Home Minister had recently visited Kashmir valley during which he was told at the Unified headquarters meeting that 60 terrorists had entered into the Valley this year. Shinde was also apprised of repeated attempts by terrorists to enter the State and at times were provided cover fire by Pakistani troops, the sources said. India, in the meantime, is toying with an idea of erecting a permanent fence along the 740 kilometres Line of Control in a bid to prevent infiltration. Meanwhile, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik is likely to visit India on November 22-23 for operationalisation of the landmark Indo-Pak visa agreement. This was indicated by Shinde when they had met in Rome on the sidelines of the Interpol General Assembly. During his visit, Rehman is also expected to visit Agra to see the Taj Mahal. The new liberalised Indo-Pak visa pact replaces a 38-year-old restrictive visa agreement and paves the way for time-bound visa approval and greater people-to-people contact and trade. The visa agreement, signed by then Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Malik in Islamabad on September 8, eases curbs on issuing visas to traders, elderly people, tourists, pilgrims, members of civil society and children. Both the countries are also willing to operationalise the new visa regime before the upcoming Indo-Pak limited over cricket series beginning December 25. While there was no time-frame for issuance of non-diplomatic visas, the new pact says visa has to be issued with a period of not exceeding 45 days of application. Under the new regime, one can visit five places, instead of the three at present, and those above 65 years of age and children below 12 years of age and 'eminent' businessmen are exempted from reporting to the police. Under the category of visitor visa, earlier only single entry visa for three months was issued for meeting relatives, friends, business or other legitimate purpose. Moreover, visa could be issued for longer period not exceeding one year, depending on the nature of work or business. Under the new pact, single entry visa is to be issued for six months but stay should not exceed three months at a time and for five places. Under a new Category II, a visitor visa for a maximum five specified places may be issued for a longer period, up to two years with multiple entries to senior citizens (those above 65 years), spouses of a national of one country married to a person of another country and children below 12 years of age accompanying parents as given earlier. The new Group Tourist visa will be issued for not less than 10 people and not more than 50 people. This visa will be valid for 30 days and will have to be applied through tour operators registered with the two Governments.