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Making the LOC irrelevant

The innocuous-looking Indian announcement on Saturday in Delhi regarding a relaxation of the visa regime for Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir residents to visit J&K carries a lot of meaning. The previous regime allowed POK residents to hold 4-week single-entry visas that are extendable by another 2 weeks. The new regime allows them to hold multi-entry visas with 6-months’ stay allowed. This is a major relaxation of the regime and it needs to be welcomed. 

What it signifies in political terms also needs to be grasped. MHA has been traditionally sensitive about granting liberal visas for POK residents to come to J&K. The new measure signifies a measure of growing self-confidence about the security climate in general. Two, it goes some way toward meeting a grievance among the Kashmiri people that they should have greater freedom to cross LOC. To that extent, this is a measure to assuage public opinion in J&K. That is, it forms part of a package that the government can be expected to announce in stages to address their grievances – measures that signify responsive governance. 
Three, there is a meaningful signal to Pakistan as well. The point cannot be lost that the ceasefire along the LOC is holding; the cross-border infiltration by militants has come down significantly; and, apart from rhetoric now and then, Pakistan did not try to exploit the situation in J&K in the recent months to stir up an Intifada-type agitation. There is also a perceptible change of tone even on the part of the Hurriyet leaders. That is, the Indian ‘comfort level’ regarding Pakistani intentions is progressively rising. 
Most certainly, the timing of the announcement is significant – on the eve of the meeting of Home Secretaries of India and Pakistan in Delhi on Monday.       

Posted in Diplomacy, Politics.

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6 Responses

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  1. Hiren Kapadia says

    Pakistan should think of geting merged into India to form the Greater India, with somewhat autonomy on the the lines somewhat similar to Texas having in USA. By doing so, its depedency on US

  2. Sridhar Rao says

    why at all visa for countries like Srilanka , Pakistan , Bangladesh , Burma , Afghanistan ,abolish visa system let people move freely , and settle anywhere . these countries were part on grater India sometimes back, in fact what is holding the unification of world is this system of visa , we will be able to see different world if abolished

  3. socrates singh says

    Pakistan is full of crazies. its suicide to allow relaxation of visa norms.

  4. Neutral says

    32 crore pakistanis r leaving in india without visa! szo,m there is no requirement for visa for any of pakistani! just eyewash for hindus!

  5. ekvira gupte says

    cross-border infiltration by militants has come down significantly, as now they can walk in easily with the visa. One day these militants will kill all these politicians as now they are playing with lives of the citizen of India. They are digging their own graves and not of civilian. the power misused will not last long for sure.

  6. R Chakravarti says

    Does this mean that the ISI has stopped trying to destroy India?

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