Visa office for Pakistani fans in Islamabad

February 17, 2007


ISLAMABAD, Feb 16: West Indian authorities are setting up a temporary visa office in Pakistan to help fans planning to travel to the Caribbean for next month's World Cup, an official said on Friday.

“The Caribbean authorities have promised they would be sending someone to set up temporary visa arrangements in Islamabad,” Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam said.

Pakistani cricket fans, who were lucky to fetch World Cup tickets, were however left clueless as where to apply for visas to Caribbean countries.

A Caribbean Community special visa has been introduced for visitors to the nine countries involved in the World Cup to take place between March 13 and April 28 when a record 16 nations will compete.

Pakistani fans were required to send their passports or travel themselves to neighbouring India to the Trinidad and Tobago embassy in New Delhi to obtain special visas.

However the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has held negotiations with the country's foreign office and West Indian cricket authorities to arrange for the visas to be issued in Pakistan.

“It is a major breakthrough achieved by the PCB through the courtesy of the foreign office and the World Cup committee,” said PCB spokesman Ahsan Malik.

“We now hope that the fans go to the West Indies in big numbers and support the Pakistan team.”—AFP