Stay period of PoK residents visiting J-K increased

New Delhi: In yet another gesture to normalise ties with Pakistan, India has decided to increase the stay period for people visiting Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir to six months with multiple entries to encourage people-to-people contact.

At present, the validity of the entry permit is for four weeks and the designated authorities for cross-LoC travel can extend the stay period by another two weeks in certain cases of health and family emergencies.

Based on the recommendation of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, the Ministry of External Affairs extends the stay for a further period of two weeks in certain cases such as health or family emergencies.

"To encourage more people to people contacts across the Line of Control (LOC), India has unilaterally decided to increase the stay period for the persons visiting J-K from PoK to six months with multiple entries," official spokesperson in the MEA said.

In recent past, India has been making gestures to normalise ties with Pakistan. Recently, both countries have agreed to resume comprehensive talks on all issues which was stalled following the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

Launching cricket diplomacy to give a fresh impetus to bilateral ties, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday invited Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani to join him in watching the Indo-Pak cricket encounter in Mohali on March 30.