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2 Nov, 2012

Cricket Matches, Visas Open Up as Indo-Pak Ties Thaw


ISLAMABAD, DAWN.COM, 1 Nov 2012: Pakistan’s Federal Cabinet on Wednesday approved four agreements signed with neighbouring India, including a much-anticipated agreement on a liberalised visa regime aimed at promoting bilateral trade between the two countries.

The cabinet’s ratification Wednesday came more than a month and a half after the agreement’s initial signing on Sept 8, during then Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna’s visit to Pakistan.

The signing of the accord, which was ready in May, had initially been delayed because of Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s insistence on inking it at “the right time and at the appropriate level”.

The liberalised visa accord allows for issuance of visas to the elderly and children on arrival. It facilitates visas for group tourists and allows for issuance of multiple-entry visas to businesspeople.

The agreement is practically the first step towards easing the travel restrictions between the two countries since 1974, when the old visa regime came into force.

The federal cabinet had already given a nod to the pact before it was signed by officials from both countries.

BCCI confirms India-Pakistan cricket series itinerary

KARACHI (Dawn.com) 1 Nov 2012 : The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the schedule for the upcoming limited-overs series against Pakistan in India, DawnNews reported on Thursday.

The series comprises two Twenty20s and three One Day International (ODI) matches to be played in December-January.

The Pakistan national team is scheduled to arrive in India on December 22 and the first T20 will be played in Bangalore on December 25 followed by the second T20 match in Ahmedabad on December 27.

The first ODI will be played in Chennai on December 30 with the second one scheduled to be played in Kolkata on January 3 while the final ODI will be played in New Delhi on January 6. The team will return to Pakistan on January 7.

BCCI had earlier invited Pakistan for a bilateral series, the first in five years and just recently secured government clearance for Pakistan to tour India.

The rivals have not played a series since Pakistan’s tour of India in 2007, after cricket ties were snapped following the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Since then, the Indian and Pakistani cricket teams have only met in international tournaments.

They clashed in the World Cup semi-final in the north Indian town of Mohali last year, a high-profile game that was attended by the prime ministers of the two countries.

They also played during the Asia Cup in Bangladesh in March and the World Twenty20 in September.