Indo-Pak Home Secy-level talks on May 24-25

New Delhi: The Home Secretaries of India and Pakistan will hold bilateral talks on May 24 and 25 in Islamabad during which a liberalised visa regime for the two countries is expected to be approved apart from New Delhi pressing for action against perpetrators of 26/11 attack. During the parleys, which were being held after a delay of five months, a decision on issuance of multiple-entry and reporting-free visas for businessmen, allowing them to visit five cities instead of three as at present, is expected to be taken, a Home Ministry official said today.

An agreement to liberalise the visa procedures will benefit people of both the countries as it will also exempt elderly people from police reporting, allowing common people from either country to visit three earmarked cities instead of one. The Union Cabinet had given its nod for signing the pact on April 25. Home Minister P Chidambaram had said last week that he hoped that the pact to have a liberalised visa regime will be signed during the talks besides taking forward Confidence Building Measures (CBMs).

"I think the liberalised visa regime can be signed if the Pakistani side is ready. Our Cabinet has approved it. Then we can talk about trade-related matters, we can talk about CBMs along the LoC…a number of issues. I am optimistic," Chidambaram had said about the meeting. The Indian delegation, led by Union Home Secretary R K Singh, will also press for action from Pakistan to bring the Mumbai terror attack perpetrators, including JuD chief Hafiz Saeed to justice, and speedy trial in a Pakistani court of seven 26/11 accused like Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.