Pakistan has suspended issuance of visas on arrival to foreigners in a bid to streamline the visa regime and avoid any irregularities in the database. Interior Minister Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan, during a high-level meeting on Monday, asked officials to revise and update visa rules besides introduction of online visa regime to bring in transparency and minimise discretion in the whole process, the Express Tribune reported.
Indifference to this responsibility in addressing the problems of the people will invite serious notice and action, he added. Noting that a lot of good work has been done in the issuance of visas and areas of immigration, he said a lot more still needs to be done to streamline the system and remove various lacunas in it.
With the launching of the online visa application and online visa regime, the interior minister said that any anomaly in issuance of visas would be effectively eliminated. He said a 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 concept paper for modern Immigration and Border Control Department (IBCD). The minister said 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.