ISLAMABAD: Taking notice of problems being faced by Afghan citizens and plug in loopholes of illegal immigration, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has approved a new visa policy for Afghan nationals going abroad via Pakistan.

Talking to Dawn, the head of PM’s Strategic Reforms Initiatives, Salman Sufi said that under the new policy a transit visa of 30 days would be issued within 24 hours by the Pakistan government to Afghan nationals. The decision, he said, had been taken on a proposal floated by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah.

Mr Sufi said that upon the receipt of such a request from the host embassy in Pakistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) would immediately process the request for transit visa of up to 30 days. “Thereafter, upon the rece­ipt of the immigration approval, embassy of the host country will intimate (MoFA) and the ministry will forward the case to the interior ministry for clearance within 24 hours,” he said.

Appreciating the decision, Mr Sufi said the new mechanism was manifestation of the government’s resolve to help Afghan natio­nals and strengthen brotherly ties with Afghanistan.

Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2022

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