Pakistan eases tourist restrictions, announces on-arrival and e-visas

Pakistan eases tourist restrictions, announces on-arrival and e-visas

The government of Pakistan has announced plans on Friday to relax visa restrictions for visitors from 90 countries, including the U.S. and European Union, in a bid to boost its tourism sector, decimated by years of negligence and problems with militants.

Cabinet minister Fahmida Mirza announces the plans on Friday in Islamabad. She pledged authorities would do everything possible to ensure the safety of visiting tourists.

Mirza says citizens of 175 countries will be able to obtain visas electronically, over the internet. She says visitors from 50 countries, including America, will be able to get their visas on arrival rather than through Pakistani embassies abroad.

Pakistan has K-2, the world’s second-highest mountain, scenic valleys in the north and beautiful deserts but its tourism has industry has suffered serious setbacks because of violence that plagues the country.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain confirmed on Friday that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government was introducing a new revolutionary visa regime to attract tourism and investment in Pakistan.

Talking to media outside the Parliament House, he said under the new visa policy, one of the major initiatives taken by the present government in past five months, citizens from 175 countries would have e-visa facility while citizens of 50 countries would enjoy visa on arrival facility.

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