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India, Pakistan approve long pending diplomatic visas

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 07, 2019, 09.02 PM (IST) Sidhant Sibal

In a positive development, India and Pakistan both cleared each other's pending diplomatic and official visas on Thursday. Both the countries also agreed on visas of air advisors which had become a thorny issue. The issue of visas for air advisors was agreed after intervention at the High Commissioner level. 

Senior officials while confirming the development to WION said, "Fruit of intense diplomacy through High Commission. Diplomats should continue labouring to promote understanding, even when relations are strained"

Visa exchange is a routine issue but given the nature of India, Pakistan ties and current developments such as Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi calling separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq which led to the summoning of Pakistan High Commissioner by India, the development shows a working relationship, at least, at a diplomatic level between the two countries.

This is also significant given the fact that tension between the two countries was high after Pakistani Foreign Minster participated in a number of anti-India events including "Kashmir solidarity day" in London. 

The month of January saw Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria meeting Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Pakistani High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood called on Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.

Both countries are now working on India Pakistan officials meet to decide on the modalities for the Kartarpur corridor. The first of such meet will take place on March 13 in India.

The functioning of diplomatic missions between India and Pakistan is governed by the bilateral Code of Conduct signed by the two countries in 1992 among other protocols. 

The code of conduct calls for "smooth and unhindered" functioning of diplomatic and consular officials in conformity with "recognised norms of international law and practice."

Story highlights

Visa exchange is a routine issue but given the nature of India, Pakistan ties and current developments such as Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi calling separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq which led to the summoning of Pakistan High Commissioner by India, the development shows a working relationship at least at a diplomatic level between the two countries.