Foreign officials to be given visas only after full documentation: Nisar


Staff Reporter


The interior ministry on Thursday ordered all relevant government departments to strictly follow immigration rules pertaining to the entry, exit and stay of all foreign officials in Pakistan.
In a meeting chaired by Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar, it was decided that all departments, including Civil Aviation, Immigration, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will need to hand in complete details on any foreign personnel visiting Pakistan to the interior ministry.
The departments were categorically told that foreign officials would be denied visas without complete documentation.
The interior secretary, the advocate general, the chairman of the National Database and Registration Authority and members of the Federal Investigation Agency and the Ministry of Interior attended the meeting. The meeting participants also decided that the personal record of government officials responsible for applying for visas for any foreign official will also be added to the database and shared with the interior ministry.
It was also decided that security clearance for visits to any sensitive areas would be sought from the interior ministry prior to the foreign official’s arrival, and that the itinerary for all visiting officials would be shared with the interior ministry by the relevant embassies at least a week prior to their visit.
Private staff members of foreign officials will only be allowed to enter the country after they have been given clearance by the interior ministry, it was decided.
Meanwhile, guests visiting Pakistan during the hunting season will have to abide by the laws set for them by the Pakistan government and any discrepancies will be dealt with sternly.
In case of any discrepancies in the system, officials of the responsible department would be held responsible and face strict action. The interior minister also said that he will ensure that all members of the government follow the set regulations and not exploit their position as has been the norm in the past.
The meeting decided to impose complete ban on issuance of visas on incomplete documents and all such foreigners would not be allowed to enter the country and to indulge in any kind of activity.
The meeting was also attended by Secretary Interior,
Advocate General, Chairman, National Database and Registration Authority and senior officials of the Ministry and Federal Investigation Agency.
The Minister further directed that details of foreign
delegates regarding their arrival in Pakistan and their activities during stay would be provided to Ministry of Interior at least one week before.
The Minister said this should also be ensured that prior security clearance for visa should be sought from Ministry of Interior in case of need.
The Minister directed Civil Aviation Authority and FIA to ensure that transportation of staff of foreign delegates and guests coming in advance to Pakistan for hunting purposes would be made only through international airports and no one should be allowed to enter Pakistan without required immigration process.
He directed the FIA and Federal Bureau of Revenue to make sure establishment of counters equipped with all necessary facilities for immigration clearance of foreign Heads of States and their guests who would come to Pakistan through privateflights at any airport with prior approval of the government.
He said in past national security was compromised, laws of the land were violated and national image was damaged through issuance of visas illegally, adding that integrity and sovereignty of the country demands that implementation of rules and regulations must be ensured without any discrimination.

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