Capping a mammoth countrywide exercise, foreign minister S M Krishna opened the 77th passport office in the heart of Srinagar on Thursday, and the unveiling is significant in two ways — it’s a sign that normal functioning may be possible in the troubled Valley along with a manifestation of improved ties between India and Pakistan.

The opening of a Passport Sewa Kendra (PSK) in Srinagar is significant, particularly because militants had torched a passport office here some years ago. Krishna observed, “These passport offices are also playing an important role in the implementation of the confidence-building measures between India and Pakistan by way of facilitating travel of persons on either side of the Line of Control.”