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30 visas issued for Pak victims' kin

Source: PTI
February 20, 2007 13:11 IST
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The Indian high commission in Islamabad has issued 30 visas overnight for relatives of the Pakistanis killed in the blasts on the Samjhauta Express.

"We have issued 30 visas and more are expected to be issued later in the day", a senior high commission official said.

The high commission has set up a visa centre in Lahore. Rules have been relaxed for visa holders to enable them to cross the Wagah border by foot. Normally the Wagah border is open only for third country nationals and diplomats and not for citizens of both countries.

Besides issuing visas, the high commission in coordination with officials in Amritsar has arranged buses for them to travel to Panipat and New Delhi either to identify the dead or to meet the injured.

Asked about Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid's criticism that there was delay in getting information about the Pakistanis killed in the incident, the official said the delay was due to problems faced by local officials in identifying the nationalities of the dead.

The Pakistan Foreign office and the high commission are in close touch and are coordinating the transportation of the injured and survivors.

At least 68 people were charred to death when two powerful explosions ripped through two coaches of the Lahore-bound Samjhauta Express on Sunday night.

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