People to people contacts must for boosting ties between India and Pakistan: Chairman Senate

Islamabad: Farooq H. Naek, Acting President of Pakistan has stressed the need for relaxation of visa regime between India and Pakistan to enhance people to people contacts via frequent exchange of delegations from both sides at different levels, in order to remove misperceptions and mistrust and boost the strained relations. He was expressing these views while talking to delegates of Punjab and Haryana Bar Council of India which called on him at Parliament House here today.

He said that legal fraternity of both sides is sitting together as most of the Senators including himself are lawyers and they can understand each other with the same wave length.

“Only frequent people to people contacts and exchanges can help resolve the differences and can lead to positive outcomes like enhanced trade resulting in the boosting of economies and alleviation of poverty of people of on both sides of the border.” he added.

Reciprocating, General Secretary All India Bar Association, Mr. Partap Singh who was heading 17 members lawyers delegation from India expressed his delight on warm welcome received here in Pakistan and said that legal fraternity of two countries shares the same sentiments vis-à-vis relations of both countries and relaxation of visas is vital for enhancing people to people contacts and putting the relations on new pedestal.

President Punjab State Bar Association Harpreet Barar said, “Our roots are here, we share heritage and everyone feels nostalgic while visiting ones roots.”

Naek reiterated his views regarding visa relaxation and urged Bar Councils of respective countries to adopt resolutions so that the relevant departments of both the countries can be pushed further for relaxation of visa regime and instead of city specific visa there should be country specific visa only.

Acting President said that there should be special visa for lawyers, Parliamentarians etc. and the duration of the visa should be at least 15 days in order to have elaborate exchange of ideas and the visitors should be given chance to visit more places. The Acting President said the development on confidence building measures should go on without any hindrance and on visa issue the relaxation must be sought.

Senators from Pakistan said that the visa issue is very much on the agenda of CBMs and there is going to be development on this issue for business community and other important segments of society like Parliamentarians, lawyers, journalists and artists etc. It is pointed out that relaxation of visa can help boost trade links and revive economies of both countries.

At the end the delegates of Indian lawyers’ community thanked the Acting President for hospitality extended to them. The meeting was attended by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri besides Senators Muhammad Kazim Khan, Rehmatullah Kakar, Wasim Sajjad, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, Naeem Hussain Chattha, Afrasaib Khan Khatak, S. M Zafar, Jahangir Badar and Zafar Ali Shah.

Secretary Senate Raja Muhammad Amin was also present on the occasion. Later the delegates also visited Senate and National Assembly Halls and were given briefing regarding working of both the Houses.

For more information, contact:
Public Service Obligation to Chairman
Syed Hasnain Haider
Senate of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4564 534
Fax: +9251 920 5703
H.No.7, Cat-II, G-8/2,
Islamabad.
Web: www.senate.gov.pk
E-mail: senate@comsats.net.pk

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