India to issue 3,000 visa to Pak cricket fans; 300 for VIPs

Pak cricket fans

12 Pakistani men, who came to India to watch the last India-Pakistan bilateral cricket series held in November- December 2007, did not return home and are yet to be traced.

Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley during his interrogation had said that many Lashker-e-Taiba activists had carried out recce of vital installations in Delhi including the National Defence College after having secured visas for the Indo-Pak cricket match in 2007.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his then Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani had watched the high-profile World Cup semi-final in Mohali last year.

In July, the BCCI had decided to resume cricketing ties with Pakistan by inviting the neighbouring country for a short series.

The arch-rivals have not played a bilateral series since Pakistan's tour of India in 2007 after cricket ties were snapped following the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Home Ministry sources said the Indo-Pak landmark visa agreement, signed in September, aimed at easing travel restrictions is also expected to be operationalised before the cricket series begins.

The visa agreement, signed by then Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Interior Minister Rehman Malik in Islamabad on September 8, eases curbs on issuing visas to traders, elderly people, tourists, pilgrims, members of civil society and children.

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