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Rivals India, Pakistan to make travel easier

NEW DELHI — India and Pakistan on Friday announced a new visa regime that will make cross-border travel easier as part of a thaw in their long-hostile ties.

Rehman Malik, Pakistan’s interior minister, said tensions between the nuclear-powered rivals have eased a great deal since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, in which 10 Pakistani terrorists killed 166 people.

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The journey toward peace ‘‘is progressing very well because of growing interaction between the two governments,’’ said Malik, who held talks with India’s home minister Sushilkumar Shinde.

India and Pakistan fought three wars, two for control of Kashmir, since they won independence from Britain in 1947.

The new visa system will allow members of divided families, business people, tourists, and religious pilgrims to obtain visas quickly rather than waiting for months.

It will be launched in two phases, Jan. 15 and March 15. Visas on arrival go to those older than 65. They aim to give visas to younger people within 45 days.

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