New visa policy was PML-N govt’s initiative: Ahsan Iqbal

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ISLAMABAD: Former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal has disputed a PTI’s claim that Imran Khan government was opening Pakistan to the world through a new visa policy.
“New visa policy being promoted by PTI government as new initiative to open Pakistan as a tourist destination was approved in last NSC meeting of PMLN government,” Iqbal tweeted, sharing the link of an old story.
His statement came a day after the PTI-led government announced on-arrival Pakistani visa for 50 countries and e-visas for 175 countries in a bid to revive tourism.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said citizens from 50 countries will be granted visas on arrival while 175 countries will be granted the e-visa facility, as Pakistan looks to woo visitors to witness its scenic beauty and cultural diversity.
The minister explained some salient features of the visa regime and said the policy had been framed in consultations with all the departments concerned and stakeholders. Fawad pointed out under this major visa initiative, 175 countries had been extended the facility of e-visa while the citizens of 50 countries would be given visas upon arrival. He added that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved tour operators now could bring tourist groups to the country under new policy which, he said, would usher in a new era of progress and prosperity in the country.
The minister said Indian-origin American and British citizens would also be given visas on arrival. He said business visa would now be provided to the citizens of 96 countries from the previous practice of 68 countries. Likewise, Fawad noted the period of diplomatic visa had been extended from one year to three years while that of students’ visa from one year to two years.

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