New Delhi: The founder of the jobs portal 'Naukri.com' Sanjeev Bhikhchandani visited Pakistan in September earlier this year. He said that business was the answer to better relations between India and Pakistan, even though it had its own set of risks. "I believe if you want lasting peace then you need to build inter-dependency so that there are lobbies created who favour peace. Right now, when the society is totally cut off, it doesn't cost anything to be hostile," he said.
Later on Friday, Indian and Pakistan will operationalise the new visa regime which facilitates people to people contact. According to the new guidelines:
- Anybody above the age of 65 will get visa on arrival.
- It also mandates a 45-day time frame to issue a visa.
- Visitors will now be allowed to visit five cities instead of three.
- There will also be a provision for long term multiple entry visa for businessmen.
However, India has made it clear that closer ties with Pakistan can only come with trust that Pakistan is cracking down on terror. Rehman Malik will face many questions on Pakistan's actions in the 26/11 trial. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has said that India will raise several issues, including the judicial commission and the voice samples.
And while businessmen and divided families are cheering about what the visa liberalisation will mean for the future, officials are likely to go into the meetings with an eye on the past.