Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa had a one-on-one meeting as both discussed security situation of the country.
The COAS also attended a high-level meeting on visa reforms at the Prime Minister Office chaired by PM Imran Khan. Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, in a media briefing, after the meeting said that the government has decided to bring changes in the visa policy.
“Businessman and journalists will be benefited from the new visa policy. Tourists will come to Pakistan due to the new visa policy,” he said. The sources pointed out that since a number of countries across the world are following the policy of issuance ofvisa on arrival system it would not be in the interest of the country to continue with the old system. Initially it was proposed that 150 countries of the world should be given the facility that their nationals could obtain visa on arrival. The list has been reduced later and now it appears about citizens of 98 countries would be entitled to get visa at the place of entry.
It is likely that Pakistan will follow Qatar which has granted visa on arrival to the citizens of more than one hundred countries of the world. Pakistan is being opened for the world for the first time, with mega changes in visa regime in the coming days.
The sources said that India has also started to issue visa on arrival to a number of countries. Fawad Chaudhary told the media that a sum of $58 million has been approved for Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company. This will also ensure finance for Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme of the government.
Fawad Chaudhary said it has been decided to merge Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) into National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). Meanwhile, the federal cabinet took serious exception to the united opposition’s rowdy behavior on Wednesday evening in the National Assembly on the arrival of Prime Minister Imran Khan in the House and during the speech of Minister for Finance Asad Umer.
The cabinet discussed political, economy and law and order situation in the country. The cabinet also had discussion about the Sahiwal tragedy where four innocent people were killed by the CTD personnel.
The sources said that cabinet had candid discussion and analysis of the overall situation in the country and revisited its policy towards the opposition. The cabinet expressed its resolve not to budge before the government as it will not permit the opposition to exploit the situation for political motives.
The sources said that federal ministers Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Pervaiz Khattak submitted their report regarding their contacts with the opposition’s stalwarts for having improved working relationship with them.
The federal cabinet approved the steps for constitution of Media Regulatory Authority that will replace present Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra). The government will have consultation with journalists’ associations to hear their views about the proposal.