ISLAMABAD: Federal cabinet, under the chair of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, on Tuesday directed authorities concerned to issue six-month multiple entry visas to transporters from Afghanistan.
The premier approved all proposals put forward by the Afghan Inter-Ministerial Coordination Cell during the federal cabinet meeting.
The federal cabinet directed the Pakistan embassy to assess Afghan visa applications on the basis of existing nationality and passport instead of the country of origin.
Moreover, the cabinet issued the following directions:
- A new sub-category under the work visa category will be introduced in the online visa system.
- Initially, multiple entry visas will be issued for a period of six months; meanwhile, the interior ministry will have the authority to extend the period to one year.
- Documents required with the visa application will include the applicant’s photograph, passport, registration as a transport company, and employment letter.
- Exemption from the registration of recommendation letter and Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) from the Board of Investment for visas of drivers, transporters, helpers, etc.
The federal cabinet noted that all these decisions have been taken to promote trade with Afghanistan and amendments are made as the main purpose of obtaining a visa is the only movement of goods across the border.
All suggestions aforementioned will also apply to transporters, drivers, and helpers of all Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) member countries.
After the approval of the cabinet, National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) will be directed to change the online visa system of Pakistan.
Moreover, for the promotion of ease of doing business, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Board of Investment will link the online visa system with online payments.
“We need to remove all hurdles for Afghans in order to help them and to provide them a conducive environment to invest in Pakistan who seek opportunities in Gulf states,” PM Shahbaz said, noting that a policy in this regard would be formulated within two weeks.
During the meeting, the cabinet also approved the proposal regarding ease in visa policy for patients coming from Afghanistan.
The cabinet also approved the seven-point agenda, including the National Waste Management Policy 2022. The meeting also approved the proposal of changing the visa policy for different countries.