Krishna visit: India, Pak to sign visa pact
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India and Pakistan will sign two agreements — one on liberalising the visa regime and another to promote cultural exchanges — when External Affairs Minister S M Krishna visits Pakistan over the weekend.
It is learnt that New Delhi and Islamabad have prepared the "treaty papers" in duplicate for the agreements to be signed during the visit.
The visa agreement, which was negotiated in October last year, was to be signed in May this year during the Home Secretary-level talks. But Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik wanted the agreement to be signed at the political level. Now Malik has conveyed that the pact can be signed during this visit, sources told The Indian Express.
The two countries are also set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Pakistan National Council of the Arts to promote cultural exchanges between the two sides.
During the visit to Pakistan between September 7 and 9, Krishna is likely to meet former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother and Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif in Lahore.
The Indian High Commission in Islamabad, it is learnt, is arranging for Krishna's meeting with the two leaders of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) on September 9.
In Islamabad, Krishna will meet top leaders of the three political parties of the ruling coalition — Pakistan Muslim League (Q), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Awami National Party .
He is also expected to call on President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf, apart from holding talks with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. All these leaders belong to the Pakistan's People's Party .
Sources said Krishna's meetings with leaders across the political spectrum in Pakistan is aimed at reaching out to entire cross-section of public opinion in that country.
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