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Discover Pakistan: NOC regime for foreign visitors abolished

News Desk |

The Federal Information Minister, Fawad Chaudhry, on Tuesday, March 26th announced that the Government of Pakistan had decided to end the requirement of a no-objection certificate (NOC) for foreign visitors seeking to tour certain parts of Pakistan, which had earlier been inaccessible to foreign tourists.

“Another landmark achieved. NOC regime for foreigners comes to an end,” the information minister tweeted. “It is Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision to make Pakistan a heaven for tourists and following new visa regime, this important policy decision of ending NOC requirements is a leap forward,” he added, using the hashtag #DiscoverPakistan.

Fawad Chaudhry Shares Interior Ministry’s Notification

The information minister also shared a notification from the Ministry of Interior which states that as per the cabinet decision taken on January 31, 2019, “Free movement of foreigners shall be allowed in open cantonments except prohibited and restricted areas with visible signboards. The border crossings will be open and non-restricted.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan had inaugurated Pakistan’s online visa regime for foreign nationals to promote tourism and investments into the country.

“AJK and GB and Chitral will be non-restricted/ non-prohibited except 10 miles of Pak-China border, Pak-Afghan border (Wakhan corridor), AJK (along LoC), GB (along LoC), Siachen (along line of actual contact),” he added.

Pakistan’s New Visa Policy for 175 Countries

Earlier this month, PM Khan had announced a new visa policy for 175 countries to promote tourism and investment to the country.

In a bid to revive the tourism sector in the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan had approved the National Tourism Coordination Board (NTCB) and working groups on March 13th, 2019.

Read more: Pakistan issues visa on arrival to tourists from ‘friendly’ countries

According to a notification issued elaborating the step, PM’s Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari was appointed the acting chairman of the NTCB. The board was tasked to coordinate with the national and international organizations to boost the tourism sector in the country.

The board would also work for promotion and marketing of tourism spots and would provide a platform to devise a comprehensive strategy on tourism. The NTCB would also provide technical assistance to the provinces in the field of the tourism sector.

The board comprises Board of Investment (BoI) chairman, secretary Inter-provincial Coordination, joint secretaries of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Foreign Office, Interior Ministry, and Information Ministry.

In a bid to revive the tourism sector in the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan had approved the National Tourism Coordination Board (NTCB) and working groups on March 13th, 2019.

Kamran Lashari, Ali Asghar, Sirajul Malik, Samina Baig, Behram Avari, and others are included in the board as private members.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had inaugurated Pakistan’s online visa regime for foreign nationals to promote tourism and investments into the country.

He had stated that issuing of online visa was a significant step towards bringing real change as it would open the country to the outside world.

Read more: Tourism for All… The Unexplored Potential of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Prime Minister Khan said it also would show that Pakistan was a peaceful and stable country and open to the world for business and tourism.