Cabinet Approves New Visa Regime for Afghan Traders

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb Tuesday announced that the federal cabinet had approved a new visa regime for Afghan citizens including traders. The cabinet also approved the country’s first-ever National Hazardous Waste Management Policy.

Flanked by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Kashmir Affairs Qamar Zaman Kaira and Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman, the information minister said under the reviewed policy, the Pakistan missions abroad would process the visa applications of Afghan citizens based on existing passport and nationality instead of their country of origin.

She said the cabinet approved the inclusion of a sub-category in the work visa category for drivers, transporters, and helpers to further promote bilateral trade with Afghanistan.

She said that a multi-entry visa for six months would be issued within 48 hours, while the interior ministry has been authorized to extend the period to one year.

The information minister said the Afghans who sought visas in driver, transporter, and helper categories were exempted from obtaining the Board of Investment’s (BOI) letter of recommendation and registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

She said the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) had been directed to bring changes in the online system after approval of the policy. A committee has been set up to ensure the continuity of ease of doing business for traders, she added.

The minister said the cabinet also approved relaxing the visa policy for those coming from Afghanistan on medical grounds.

The cabinet also ratified decisions taken by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) during its meeting held on June 22.



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