India and Pakistan sign landmark visa deal
India and Pakistan have fought four wars since their independence from Britain in 1947. The last visa pact, signed in 1974 in the aftermath of a war in 1971, had made it extremely difficult to cross the border. Pakistan was carved out of India in 1947 and the migration of 10 million citizens – Muslims from India to Pakistan, Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan to India – was accompanied by bloody riots that left an estimated million dead.
For the first time ever, the two countries have introduced tourist visas, but with the restriction that these will have to be groups of 10 to 50 people traveling through a registered tourist agency. Pakistanis and Indians were seen welcoming this on Facebook, making plans to visiting the Taj Mahal in India or the ancient sites of the Harappa civilization in Pakistan.
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