New Delhi, July 27 (ANI): India and Pakistan on Wednesday agreed to expand cross-Line of Control (cross-LoC) travel include to include visits for tourism and religious pilgrimage.
A joint statement issued here after talks between the foreign ministers of the two countries-S.M.Krishna and Hina Rabbani Khar-said: "Cross-LoC travel would be expanded on both sides of the LoC to include visits for tourism and religious pilgrimage. In this regard, the modalities will be worked out by both sides."
The statement also said that facilities, including waiting area, terminal and clearing procedures at the operational crossing points will be streamlined by both sides for smooth Cross-LoC travel.
It also said that the Cross-LoC bus service between Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakot routes will henceforth run on every Monday.
The two sides also agreed that application forms and requisite documentation in respect of travel across LoC will be exchanged by email between designated authorities of both sides. Such e-mail transfer of application forms will be backed up by hard copies.
Both sides agreed that they will expedite the processing time for applications, which shall not be more than 45 days.
It was also agreed that six month multiple entry cross-LoC travel permits will be allowed by the designated authorities after completion of the required formalities at an early date.
Both sides agreed that coordination meetings between the designated suthorities will be held at the terminals alternately on both sides of the LoC every quarter or as and when deemed necessary.
It was agreed that the Joint Working Group (JWG) will henceforth meet on a biannual basis to review existing arrangements and suggest additional measures for cross-LoC travel and trade. (ANI)