ISLAMABAD: After a decade-long suspension, Kuwait on Sunday decided to resume granting visas to Pakistani families and businessmen.
The Kuwaiti government took the decision during a meeting between Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah and Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed in Kuwait City.
During the meeting it was also decided that Kuwait would issue technical visas for Pakistani workers in medical and oil fields.
The interior minister, who is on an official visit to Kuwait, handed over a special letter of Prime Minister Imran Khan to his Kuwaiti counterpart.
Following the meeting, the ministry of interior issued a press release which said that Kuwait had decided immediate restoration of family and business visas for Pakistanis.
It said that Pakistani workers would also get Kuwait’s visas according to the agreement.
Gulf state stopped issuing visas to Pakistanis a decade ago
The statement said that the meeting, which was also attended by Kuwaiti Interior Minister Thamer Ali Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Kuwait Syed Sajjad Haider, discussed bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest.
Kuwait had stopped issuing visas to citizens of Pakistan, Iran, Syria and Afghanistan in 2011, while citing difficult security conditions in these countries. Since then Pakistan made several attempts to get restoration of visas for Pakistani citizens but to no avail. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif during his visit to Kuwait in 2017 had also pleaded Pakistan’s case and requested for restoration of visas for Pakistani citizens.
The press release said that now Pakistani nationals settled in Gulf countries could also get online visas to visit Kuwait.
The press release quoted the Kuwaiti prime minister as saying that relation between the two countries spanned over seven decades and people of the countries had been enjoying relations based on love and trust.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, while thanking Kuwaiti prime minister, said that after the decision of restoration of visas for Pakistani citizens, huge job opportunities would be available for Pakistani citizens in Kuwait.
The minister said that Pakistani families and business fraternity faced enormous problems with the ban on Kuwaiti visa, adding that Pakistani labourers played an important role in Kuwait’s early development.
He said that all Pakistani considered Kuwait as their second home, adding that with lifting of ban on business visa, trade would also increase between the two countries.
Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2021