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Security policy unchanged: Ahsan Iqbal explains on-arrival visas for tourists

Security policy unchanged: Ahsan Iqbal explains on-arrival visas for tourists

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal here on Wednesday informed the National Assembly that the government had not made any change in security policy.

Responding to a point of order raised by the PTI lawmaker Shireen Mehrunnisa Mazari, the minister said, “No ease had been made in security policy nor any change had been made in it.”

He said that security policy had been made keeping in view the interest of the country.

He said that no new visa policy had been introduced in the country but the already existing visa policy had been made more transparent.

The minister said that visa had been issued to visitors only through registered tour operators. He said all the tour operators had the policy guidelines.

The Minister pointed out that Pakistan has recently been declared an emerging tourist destination and the visa policy is aimed at promoting tourism.

He assured the House that under this policy, no black water and other elements threatening the security would be allowed to enter in the country.

Civil Aviation Autority (CAA) had announced to grant on-arrival visas for tourists from 24 countries in bid to promote tourism industry in Pakistan. According to a message posted on Twitter, tourists belonging to United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), neighbouring China, Thailand, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy and Japan among 24 countries would be issued on-arrival 30-day visas in form of groups, if the tour is organised through designated operators in Pakistan.


On INGOs


Ahsan Iqbal said that international Non Government Organizations (INGO) will be facilitated to work for the development of the country. He had earlier allowed banned international NGOs to work until final decision.

He said that the NGOs working against the interest of the country would not be allowed to operate.

He said that NGOs asked to stop their operation, can appeal within 90 days about government’s decision. However he said if the decision come against the NGOs within 90 days following their appeals, the NGOs had to stop its working.

Former Interior Minister Ch Nisar Khan said that visa policy had been devised keeping in view the interest of the country. He said that INGOs are working under the federal government while NGOs are operating udder provincial government domain.

He said that the federal government intervened if any NGOs violated their mandate.

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