India today put on hold the proposed group tourist visa facility to Pakistani nationals from tomorrow in the wake of growing unease in bilateral ties following the killing of two Indian soldiers along the LoC and Wednesday’s suicide attack in Srinagar.

“We are not going to operationalise the group visa facility to be offered to Pakistani nationals from tomorrow,” a senior Home Ministry official told PTI.

No official reason has been given for the latest move.

The two countries had agreed to operationalise the group tourist visa facility to be offered to each other’s citizens from March 15.

The Government has already put on hold visa on arrival facility for senior citizens —— part of the new relaxed India-Pakistan visa agreement —— hours before its operationalisation on January 15 following heightened tension along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week had said that the barbaric killing of Indian soldiers in Kashmir had cast a shadow on bilateral relations and asked Pakistan to create a more conducive environment to take the normalisation process forward.

Singh had said he was yet to see any “tangible progress” in dismantling of terror infrastructure in Pakistan and bringing to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks.

(This article was published on March 14, 2013)
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