Pakistan has ordered the immediate suspension of issuance of visas on arrival (landing permits) to foreigners to avoid any ‘irregularities’ in the database. Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan asked participants at a high-level meeting to ensure strict implementation of rules and regulations, and to revise and update visa rules. He said introduction of online visa regime to bring in transparency, minimise discretion and expedite the entire process should be ensured.
Indifference to this responsibility in addressing the problems of the people will invite serious notice and action, the Express Tribune quoted him, as warning on Monday. He said central visa database is essential as it would enable Pakistani state institutions to keep a tab on all those travelling to Pakistan on any visa category.
To ensure strict surveillance of Pakistan’s land, sea and air route entry and exit points on borders, Nisar ordered speedy completion of a concept paper for modern Immigration and Border Control Department (IBCD). The minister observed that as a first step, a separate body of IBCD should be set up under the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). He said modern immigration department would strengthen border control management of the country which is currently managed by the FIA.
The FIA officials also gave a detailed briefing to the interior minister about the recoveries in various cases, including human trafficking and the recoveries made from various petroleum marketing companies in lieu of petroleum levy. The meeting was attended by interior secretary, NADRA chairman, advocate general, ICT chief commissioner, Islamabad acting IG and senior officers of FIA and Ministry of Interior.