New visa policy introduced to promote tourism

Islamabad: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has said the government is introducing a new revolutionary visa policy to encourage tourism in the country.

Talking to the media persons in Islamabad, he said the policy has been framed in consultations with all the departments concerned and stakeholders.

He said under this major visa initiative, one hundred and seventy five countries have been extended the facility of E-Visa whilst the citizens of fifty countries will be given visas on arrival.

The Information Minister said IATA approved tour operators now can bring tourist groups to the country under new policy which, he said, will usher in a new era of progress and prosperity in the country.

Unveiling further main points of the policy, the Information Minister said Indian origin American and British citizens will also be given visas on arrival. He said Business visa will now be provided to the citizens of ninety six countries from the previous practice of sixty eight countries. The Business visa will be stamped in eight to ten days.

Fawad Chaudhry said the period of diplomatic visa has been extended from one year to three years whilst that of students’ visa to two years from one year.

The Information Minister said the tourists can now visit all parts of the country including open cantonments, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.  He said the tourists are no longer required to take any No-Objection Certificate (NoC).

Fawad Chaudhry said the journalist visas will now be processed through the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and they will also be given long term visas without any curbs.

The Information Minister said the government is also contemplating to revive the major festivals across the country to provide entertainment and educational facilities to the masses and further build the soft image of the country.

Fawad Chaudhry said “we want to make tourism the basis of development like Malaysia and Turkey which are earning billions of dollars from this sector. He said the economic reforms package announced by the government is aimed at boosting exports, reducing imports and enhancing industrialization to generate economic activities and jobs.”