Malik urges India to reconsider banning new visa scheme
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik on Monday asked India to reconsider suspending new visa regime for elderly people as the scheme was initiated to facilitate citizens of both the countries.
“I would request Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and my Indian counterpart Sushilkumar Shinde to reconsider and should not let the whole effort to go down the drain,” he said.
People had termed the initiative as a great step forward in the direction of providing a semblance of rationality and compassion to the members of divided families, especially elderly people of 65 years and above age to meet their relatives and friends.
In the first phase, the enforcement of new visa regime for elderly persons was scheduled to start from Jan 15. However, the Indian government had suspended the scheme, citing technical glitches only hours after officials said it began on Tuesday.
Speaking to media representatives today, Malik said, “We are moving forward in trade. We are moving forward with composite dialogue and the Indian side should reconsider the visa regime also.”
Commenting on cross-border attacks, he said, “We have been facing violations on Line of Control (LoC) from Indian side and I must say there is a long list of violations.”
“If there is anything wrong or there are allegations…..we can discuss them on different forums,” he added.
On a question about rising extremism in India, Malik said he had predicted it three years ago, however, he added that it was purely an internal affair of India.
The minister said the Indian government was capable enough to address the issue.
“I would only say……let India handle this matter itself,” he added.
Kamran Faisal death probe
The interior minister appreciated the government’s initiative of constituting a judicial commission, comprising of a former judge of the Supreme Court Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, over the death of the NAB officer investigating the RPP corruption case.
Faisal’s death has been declared by the police as suicide but his family has some apprehensions.
Malik said the incident has jolted the entire nation and added his death needs to be probed thoroughly.
He said the single-member judicial commission, formed on the basis of different media reports, will submit its report within two weeks.
The administration has been asked to extend full cooperation to the commission so that it could complete the task within stipulated time and without any trouble, the minister added.