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New Delhi, 28 January to I February 1953

As Ratified on 9 July 1953 The Governments of India and Pakistan have ratified the decisions reached at the Indo-Pakistan Passports Conference held at New Delhi from 28th January to 1st February,'1953 and during subsequent discussions. A summary of the agreed dicisions is given below. The two Governments are taking steps to give immediate effect to these decisions.

1. Travel facilities for residents of enclaves. Residents of the enclaves in both the countries will on application be granted Category 'A' visas valid for an unlimited number of journeys within the thana or thanas contiguous to the enclave, and also for an unlimited number of journeys in transit along one or more specified routes between the enclave and the mainland of the country to which the enclave belongs. The specified route for transit need not be through an established checkpost. In addition, the holder of a Category "A" visa may also obtain any other visa to which he may be entitled under the rules.

2. Multi-journey transit visas between two places in the same country across the territory of the other country. (a) These visas will be issued freely; the position being reviewed after 12 months. (b) The Government of Pakistan agree to depute a visa officer to Tripura for a period of three months to issue visas of various Categories to residents of that State. The Government of India also agree similarly to deputea visa officer to Comilla, if so desired.

3. Transit visas for non-diplomatic staff. Transit visas free of cost will also be admissible to non-diplomatic staff, other than those posted in India or Pakistan, when travelling between the home-county and Missions abroad.

4. Registration of non-diplomatic staff. The registration of non-diplomatic staff will be effected merely by handing over the duplicate copy of the visa application form at the check-post of entry.

5. Additional visa offices. The Government of Pakistan will set up two additional Branch Visa Offfices in India, one at Bombay and the other at Shillong; while the Government of India will set up two additional Branch Visa Offices in Pakistan; one at Hyderabad (Sind) and the other at Rajshahi (East Bengal).

6. Additional Routes. The Government of Pakistan will open one check-post at or near Chhatak to cover W the routes from Assam via Dhalai river, (ii) the bridle path from Bh6laganj to Companyganj, (iii) the Shalla river route and (iv) if possible, the route from Barsora. They will also open a second check-post at Hatipagar in Nalitabari opposite Dalu (Assam), a third check-post on route Kurmaghat-Dhalaight (Tripura), and a fourth check-post on the Sankara-Itindaghat (West Bengal) route. The countinuance of these additional routes will be reviewed after 12 months. The existing route between Malda and Rajshahi will be diverted; its future location will be mutually agreed upon by the Governments of West and East Bengal.

7. Land routes and closed districts. (a) No district in either country will be closed to the nationals of the other country. Applications for visas to all destinations in India or Pakistan will be considered. (b) The Wagah-Attari and the Gandasinghwala-Husseiniwala routes between the two Punjabs will be opened for public travel.

(c) Visas will be issued for all valid purposes including tourism. (d) The transport of goods between Akhaura (East Bengal) and Agartala (Tripura) will be facilitated; some provisional arrangements for this purpose have already been made between the Governments of Tripura and East Bengal. (e) Both Governments are considering the possibility of reopening through passenger traffic by rail between West Pakistan and India. The matter will be discussed further between the Railway authorities of the two Governments.

8. Category 'A" Visas. Border fishermen will be included in the classes of persons eligible to receive category "A" visas.

9. Category "B"Visas . Near relations for purposes of the grant of 'W' Visas will include (i) Parents-in-law. (ii) Brothers-in law and sisters-in-law. (iii) Sons-in law and daughters-in-law. (iv) Uncles and aunts in the first degree. (v) Step-children and adopted children.

10. Ministers of Provincial or State Governments. (a) Ministers of Provincial or State Governments, when visiting the other country, whether on official or unofficial business, will be given category "D" (official) visas. On private visits, the usual visa fee will be charged.

(b) Chief Commissioners and their families will be given the same facilities as Governors, Rajpramukhs and their families.

11. Delegates to U.N. Meetings. Nationals of one country proceeding to the other to atttend U.N. meetings will nor7nally be given Category "D" (official) Visas.

12. Category "E" Visas . (a) The definition of businessmen will be extended to include any person who has bona fide reasons for proceeding to the other country for the promotion of business or trade. Category "E" visas will be issued liberally.

(b) For the issue of "E" visas it will be for the businessman concerned to decide at what places he wisher, to transact his business.

13. Persons earning their livelihood in the other country. (a) The following classes of persons who are already in the other country will also be eligible for obtaining category "F" visas (i) Domestic servants; (ii) Resident employees of owners of immoveable property in East Bengal, Assam and Tripura. (iii) Persons earning their livelihood by following independent trades and avocations, or by service other than under limited companies or registered firms etc; (d) Category Y visas will also be given to seasonal labourers rformally going to the other country in search of employment. Such visas will be valid for one or more districts and for an appropriate period ranging from six months to one year.

14. Carriage of goods between check-post. (a) Porters carrying goods between the check-posts of the two countries will not be required to take out passports and visas. Instead, porters of both sides in equal numbers will be given written authorisations by the two check-posts. The authorisations will be valid for movement only between the two customs check-p'osts for the carriage of goods. (b) As far as possible, transhipment of goods an the East Bengal- India border from the vehicle of one side to the vehicle of the other side will be permitted to take place at suitable spot agreed upon locally.

15. Defence Personnel. (a) Clearance through the Defence Ministry will not be necessary for the following: (i) Minor children (under 15 years of age) of personnel and civilian employees of Defence Organisations (including the Military Accounts Department).

(ii) Employees of the Civil Aviation Department and their families. (iii) Class IV employees of the Defence Services (including the Military Accounts Department). The exemption accorded to Class IV employees is for a period of one year in the first instance as an experimental measure. (b) Telegraphic applications for urgent visits by Defence personnel (furnishing the following minimum praticulars) (i) Name and rank (ii) Purpose of visit (iii) Duration of visit (iv) Places to be visited (v) Address in the country to be visited will be dealt with expeditiously, and decisions on them telegraphed simultaneously to the referring authority and to the mission concerned.

16. Repatriation of Prisoners. For an offence other than the contravention of the permit or passport regulations, the full particulars of the prisoners, a copy of the judgment by which he was convicted (if possible) and a statement of other relevent circumstances will be forwarded to the relevant diplomatic mission of the other country at least three months before the due date of release of the prisoners from jail. The diplomatic mission will consider the matter and inform the authority making the reference, at least 15 days befor the due date of release, whether it acknowledges the prisoner as its national. If the prisoner is so acknowledged, the diplomatic mission will also issue an appropriate travel document valid for his repatriation. Such released prisoners will not be sent across the border by force.

17. Repatriation after a contravention of the Prernit or Passport Regulations. (i) When a person enters either country on a valid passport and a valid visa and is thereafter sentenced for a contravention of the Permit or Passport Regulations to a term of imprisonment during which his passport or visa expires, the diplomatic mission of the country where the passport was issued will, on production of a certified copy of the Judgment, renew the passport for a further reasonable period, and the country in which he has undergone the imprisonment will issue him an extension of his visa for such reasonable period, as may be necessary for him to leave that country. For this purpose, the expired passport of the prisoner, along with the above-mentioned document, will be forwarded to the diplomatic mission of the other country at least 15 days before the due date of the release of the prisoner. (ii) When a person who enters either country with a valid passport, but without a valid visa, is convicted for illegal entry and sentenced to a term of imprisonment during which the period of his passport expires, the diplomatic misson of the country of origin, on production of a certified copy of the judgement and of the release order, will grant him an extension of the validity of his passport for a sufficient period, and the country visited will grant him an endorsement thereon, to enable the holder to return home after his release. (iii) When a person who is not in possession of a passport or equivalent document is convicted for illegal entry, all the relevant facts will be communicated to the nearest diplomatic mission of the other country concerned, along with a certified copy of the judgment convicting him of illegal entry, a copy of the release order and other particulars. The diplomatic mission will give its decision whether it acknowledges the prisoner concerned as its national, and, if so, will issue a document valid for his repatriation. (iv) Such released prisoners will not be sent across the border by force. There will be no bar, however, to the prevention of illegal entry or the expulsion of entrants while attempting to enter illegally.

18. Divided Families, The grant of facilities for the reunion of the following types of families was considered : (i) The head of the family being in one country and his wife and/or minor children in the other. (ii) The head of the family is dead or a divorce has taken place, and the wife and /or minor children have no person to support them in that country.

Both the Governments agreed to give reunion facilities to such persons as soon as procedural details are mutually agreed upon.

19. Stateless Persons . Persons who were stateless at the time of partition and, for various reasons, have continued as such, although they are eligible for the acquisition of Pakistani or Indian Nationality, will be issued special Emergency Certificates on which the Mission of the other country will grant a category "C" or a transit visa as required.

20. Facilities forpersons whose needs are not covered by existing provisions. Where the visa office is satisfied of the need for more journeys than one, and the application is not covered by any existing provision relating to multi-journey visas, the visa office may make the "C" category visa (at present valid only for one journey) valid for a specified number of journeys or for an unlimited number of journeys.

21. More liberal specification ofplacgs of visit. Permission to visit more places than one will be granted liberally. 22. Delegation of authority. All District Magistrates throughout India and Pakistan will be authorised to grant: (1) Extensions of the period of stay for a total period of 30 days; and

(2) Permission to visit places other than those mentioned in the visa within the State or Province in which his district lies.

23. Special emergency arrangements . (a) To deal with extremely urgent applications, a special section will be set up in the Indian Visa Office at Dacca as well as in the Pakistan Visa Office at Calcutta. It will be the endeavour of this section to grant a visa within 24 hours of the receipt of the application. (b) The Visa Officer may, in his discretion, consider the following as reasonable grounds for treating an application as emergent: W Serious illness of a near relation of which news has been received within the last five days. (ii) Appearance in a court or other Government authority, intimation of or summons for which has been received within the last five days. (iii) Travel for the purpose of a commercial transaction, attendance at a Directors meeting, etc., in which the reason for travel has suddenly arisen for causes beyond the control of the applicant. (iv) Any other cause which the Special Section may consider adequate. (c) If a person applies to the Special Section and the latter does not consider his reasons adequate for doing so, it will retain the forms, inform the applicant accordingly and direct him to file fresh application forms in the General Section. (d) Arrangements for dealing with urgent applications will also be made at other visa offices of India and Pakistan.

24. Expediting issue of visas . (a) Both sides are agreed on the need to expedite the issue of visas as far as possible. (b) The personal attendance of the applicant will not be necessary for the grant of visas. (c) (i) The normal maximum period for the issue of C, D and transit visas has been fixed at seven working days; and for other visas at 14 working days from the date of the receipt of the application by the visa-issuing authority. (ii) Applicants presenting applications personally will be asked to call next on pre-determined dates according to the above normal periods. (iii) Within the above normal period, the applicant will either be granted a visa or informed of its refusal. (iv) When an application has to be referred to the home authorities, the applicant will be informed within the above normal period, and told that the visa office will inform him subsequently of the next date on which he should approach it. (v) If in any special circumstances, the normal period cannot be adhered to, the applicant will be informed of it as early as possible and given a definite revised date. Both Governments will, however, take measures to avoid this as far as possible.

25. Forms defectively filled in . If the forms filled in by an applicant contain minor defects or defects which can be corrected by the visa office itself, or if the applicant is present in the visa office at the time and available for the purpose of correcting the defects, his application should not be rejected because of such defects, but should be suitably amended.

26. Uniformity of Forms. The forms in use on both sides will be uniform as far as practicable.

27. Disposal of rejected duplicate and triplicate copies of the visa application forms together with photographs. The duplicate and the triplicate copies of a rejected visa application form together with two copies of the photographs may be returned to the applicant.

28. Machinery for consultation and investigation and removal of complaints. For the expeditious disposal of complaints and minor matters arising from the working of the system, each Government will nominate an officer who will correspond directly with his opposite number on such matters.

India Bilateral

Ministry of External Affairs, India

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