'Kuwait lifts visa restrictions on Pakistanis after six years'

Published: March 8, 2017


KUWAIT CITY: Authorities in Kuwait have decided to lift a six-year-old ban on visas for Pakistani citizens, the state-run APP news agency quoted a news channel as saying.

The decision reportedly came after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took up the matter of visa restrictions with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Jaber al Mubarak al Hamad al Sabah on Tuesday.

The premier insisted that lifting the restrictions would remove a major hurdle for the ‘free movement of the business community’. He informed his Kuwaiti counterpart that Pakistan was an investment-friendly country and an attractive destination for foreign investors, due to its liberal investment policy and high rate of return.

PM Nawaz urges Kuwaiti PM to lift visa restrictions

“There are ample opportunities for investors, with 100 per cent equity on joint ventures in Pakistan,” he was quoted as saying by a press release issued by the PM office.

He further said that over 1,000 leading multinational companies were currently successfully operating in various sectors of the economy.

The prime minister said there were a number of energy and infrastructure development projects in Pakistan that could be considered by foreign investors.

“We would welcome further investments from Kuwait in mega infrastructure and energy projects being undertaken in Pakistan,” he emphasised.

More than 114,000 Pakistanis live in Kuwait which was evidence of the strong ties existing between the two countries, he said, adding that it also affirmed the immense importance Pakistan attached to relations with Kuwait.

He said that the Joint Ministerial Commission between the two countries provided the best platform to take stock of bilateral cooperation in various economic sectors and setting new benchmarks to carry this cooperation forward.

Referring to the level of bilateral trade between the two countries, he reiterated that this needed to be further enhanced to its fullest potential.

The prime minister proposed establishing a Pakistan-Kuwait Joint Business Council (JBC) between two apex chambers of commerce to address these issues.

PM invites Kuwaitis to invest in Pakistan

He said there was great potential for cooperation in the fields of agriculture, construction, poultry, livestock and fisheries and to this end meetings of experts of the two countries be held to work out a plan of action.

Nawaz fondly recalled visit of the Kuwaiti prime minister to Pakistan in November 2013, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.

Nawaz also met with Speaker of Kuwait Parliament Marzouq Ali al Ghanim and stressed over the need to strengthen and develop fraternal ties between the two countries through close mutual parliamentary links.

The prime minister suggested that parliamentary relations between the two chambers deserved to be raised to an advanced phase of cooperation that would better reflect the excellent relations between the two sides.

He noted that Pakistan was ready to enhance contact and expand mutual visits to reflect the aspirations of the leaderships and peoples of the two countries.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2017.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • Zaidi Iqbal Hadi
    Mar 8, 2017 - 9:08AM

    I wish this should be true and visas are issued again to Pakistani which I will get it confirmed todaty itself as I am a Maj General, Deputy Director General, Immigration, Ministry of Interior to day at 0815 and certainly I will post my comments after meeting the official in any case. Time and again such news is flashed in Pakistani newspaers but when I checked with visa authorities they denied it. Few weeks back my friend from Islamabad sent me the news that visas are opened which was not true but still I sent a whatsapp message to our ambaassador about it and he relplied saying that we are pursuing te matter with Kuwait authorities and hopefully we will succeed. Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait / zaidi.formerdiplomat@hotmail.comRecommend

  • kemosabe
    Mar 8, 2017 - 9:09AM

    Now don’t start doing cartwheels, folks; this only applies to relatives and close pals of the PM.Recommend

  • Humza
    Mar 8, 2017 - 9:09AM

    The PM deserves credit for this decision which was possible due to his personal lobbying. Shows how a strong democracy can bring about big changes!Recommend

    Mar 8, 2017 - 9:45AM

    That is good news for Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Zahid
    Mar 8, 2017 - 10:40AM

    Well done Nawaz Sharif. He must try to ease visa regimes for Pakistanis to all destinations. Except for undesirables like Afghan and India, we should offer visa on arrival to maximum countries and demand reciprocal same terms for Pakistanis.Recommend

  • kemosabe
    Mar 8, 2017 - 10:47AM

    @Zaidi Iqbal Hadi:
    In any case getting one’s visa would be contingent on getting a job there; that could be a nonstarter in and of itself for obvious reasons..Recommend

  • Zee Ali
    Mar 8, 2017 - 11:06AM

    There is nothing in Kuwait Press to validate this news. If such thing happens it will be an important achievement by the current Pakistani Government.Recommend

  • xor
    Mar 8, 2017 - 11:38AM

    So it took six years and PM personal request to lift the visa ban. This indicates failure at many level of diplomacy. Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Mar 8, 2017 - 11:49AM

    When Kuwait had banned Pakistanis, why was this not called a “Muslim ban”?Recommend

  • ali
    Mar 8, 2017 - 11:56AM

    very good news for Pakistanis,,,Recommend

  • Rahul
    Mar 8, 2017 - 12:02PM

    LOL nobody wants to come to Pakistan. You can give visa on arrival to anyone you please but where will you attract all the tourists???Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Mar 8, 2017 - 12:13PM

    News only talks about PM said this, PM said that, what did Kuwaiti PM said, that will be actual news otherwise its just another party trip of PM NS at the expense of Pakistani awamRecommend

  • Zubair
    Mar 8, 2017 - 1:31PM

    Everyone does, infact more than India. We have richer values than you. The only hindrance is the “security threat” propagated by your country. Recommend

  • q
    Mar 8, 2017 - 1:43PM

    @Rahul FYI Pak does have Visa restrictions and it could take from 7 days to 4-6months depending nature of your visit.Recommend

  • Prada
    Mar 8, 2017 - 1:53PM

    LOL !!
    Ban on Pakistanis?? I didn’t even know it was there. Pakistanis didn’t even mention it once. Why are they protesting Trump’s ban while their Ummah brother had a similar ban on them?! Recommend

  • Zahid
    Mar 8, 2017 - 1:56PM

    You are making assumptions without substantiation. It’s spring and already a long list of mountaineers are rushing to Pakistan for climbing the mountains. Whoever comes is pleasantly surprised and returns. Over 50% of Indians defecate out in the open even in cities. You feel that is more attractive? Think again. Recommend

  • Khalid Latif
    Mar 8, 2017 - 1:59PM

    Why did the Kuwait govt impose the ban on issuing visas to Pakistanis? Why and how has the ‘reason’ for that ban been waived off by the Kuwaiti govt. Did PM Sharif request the Kuwait govt to consider the lift of the said ban? If it was so easy to lift the ban, why didn’t the Kuwait govt do so, without our PM’s personal request? Was it not appropriate to take up this matter, in accordance with the norms, by Islamabad and the Kuwaiti Ambassador in Pakistan?Recommend

  • Zaidi Iqbal Hadi
    Mar 8, 2017 - 2:16PM

    Apropos to my comments I must clarify that Arab Times (www.arabtimesonline.com) is the most leading English daily of the country which today on its top page flashed the photo showing PM Nawaz and minister Khaqan Abbasi with Amir of Kuwait and the news continued and concluded on page 37. On page 3 there are 6 photos where PM Nawaz is shaking hand with VIPs and then there are 2 photographs on the same page showing PM Nawaz and his delegation discussing various subjects with Kuwait PM and his delegation but there is no mention of visa at all which is very much disheartening to be honest. I checked Kuwait Times (www.kuwaittimes.net) but nothing there too but later on I will read it at a book stall. I did go to Maj Gen Immigration office but unluckily a few minutes before I got a call from a friend who had an emergency so I left without meeting Gen whom perhaps I will meet tomorrow. Pakistani newspapers always flash this news which is never true. Just a little while ago a friend sent me am email about visa from Islamabad. I wish Pakistanis are issued visas but we have already suffered a lot. Indians in particular and Sri Lankans, Bangla Deshis in general have accepted lower salaries and filled up the vacuum created by absence of Pakistanis and therefore now Kuwaiti employer will employ Pakistani at lower salary simply because they found cheaper manpower elsewhere. Any way done is done which cannot be undone. I wish all the best for my compatriots, aameen. Iqbal Hadi ZaidiRecommend

  • Parvez
    Mar 8, 2017 - 2:43PM

    Good to see that he has also done something for Pakistan on this foreign trip of his.Recommend

  • kamal
    Mar 8, 2017 - 3:44PM

    @Rahul: In Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Burma, Camobodia. I can easily reel of another 50.Recommend

  • Muhammad Adil
    Mar 8, 2017 - 9:17PM

    Great achievement,

    The ban took place in 2011, the reason for that was the governor of punjab of got shot by his body guard, hence, there was some unrest. The state of Kuwait had banned all countries with unrest including egypt and tunisia. The achievement of macro economic stability enabled a valid reason for trade and commerce. I think we should congratulate the prime minister for the achievement but also be patient for the restriction to totally be lifted. Lastly, it was not a ‘real’ ban but highly restrictive. Recommend

  • Billa
    Mar 8, 2017 - 10:02PM

    Talk about your own self. Don’t pin your opinions on others.@Rahul: Recommend

  • Saad
    Mar 9, 2017 - 1:23AM

    Kuwait closed the Visas for Pakistanis bcoz of Security issues..

    Now the security is OK in Pakistan they should open it

    I don’t understand whats the strong relationship b/w Pakistan and Kuwait when visas are not open ?? .
    And the embassy ppl just sleeping

    It is to be accepted that Kuwaitis are under influence of Indians and indians don’t want visa to be opened for pakistanis Recommend

  • Khan
    Mar 9, 2017 - 4:06AM

    If you actually read things aside from Indian news, you’d perhaps realize that Pakistan is generating buzz as a great country without the Indian scams.Recommend

  • Khan
    Mar 9, 2017 - 4:07AM

    Because all Pakistanis were banned regardless of religion. Trump’s first ban made exceptions for minorities, so in effect only Muslims were banned from those countries. Kuwait didn’t do that. Recommend

  • Ozair
    Mar 9, 2017 - 9:01AM

    PMLN senator Anwar Baig confirmed news is fake. Visa restrictions in Kuwait are not lifted.Recommend

  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    Mar 9, 2017 - 10:01AM

    Mohammad Adil! Please prove to me, if not others, as to when Kuwait stopped issuing visas to Egyptians and Tunisians? Are they still denied visas? Do you know how many Egyptians are in Kuwait? I am waiting for your answer. Secondly you must write your contact details like I do so that one can reach you but you opted for hide and seek which is very much regretted. Iqbal Hadi ZaidiRecommend

  • Zaidi Iqbal Hadi
    Mar 9, 2017 - 2:31PM

    NO VISA 4 PAKISTANIS as before. I have gone to General Authority for Manpower, Ministry of Labour responsible for issuing work visas and I am told that there is no change. 3 Pakistanis have gone there asking for the same before I reached. I have met Manager Immigration dealing with visit visa and family visas and there also the same bad news. Yesterday after getting the tinkle from Tribune I straight away sent congratulation to our Ambassador on lifting visa ban but His Excellency did not reply m still meaning by had it been lifted he would have told me like he replied me earlier. Two possibilities (a) If Amir or PM has approved re-issue of Pakistani visas then it may take couple of days to get the instructions passed on to respective ministers and regional directors to execute the same or (b) There is nothing of the sort and someone just felt hysterical to excite the people for no reason and rhyme. BTW, some boys and girls both in Pakistan and Kuwait must have been negotiating for their marriage but kept it on hold due to visa restrictions and who knows may be after reading the news they have already matrimonially knotted down or likely to be wedded today and tomorrow believing they can now live as husband and wife in Kuwait. I can only sympathize with those who have been tricked and allured alike for none of their fault. This news will off the site today and tomorrow and hence I will not be able to update you over here. However all those who have emailed or will email me I say on my honor that it is my both moral and national obligation to keep them abreast of the situation. Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait / zaidi.formerdiplomat@hotmail.comRecommend

  • Sony
    Mar 9, 2017 - 8:18PM

    I want to Kuwait viza Recommend

  • mirza mansoor
    Mar 13, 2017 - 4:33PM

    is there any possibility of getting a visa i was born and bought up in Kuwait came back during the gulf war and nothing has happend i tryed several times to apply every time they said no visa for pakistani.Recommend

  • Nazar Khan
    Apr 11, 2017 - 10:02AM

    @Zaidi Iqbal Hadi:
    You are right, ban is still not lifted. I tried to get visa through Hotels based in Kuwait, but they all had the same answer for me. Pakistanis are not allowed in Kuwait. Such a shame and disgrace for whole country. Whatever the reason, at least Visit Visa should be allowed if not employment. Tribune should remove this news and tell the truth about the visa situation. Pakistanis are still not allowed to even visit Kuwait. Recommend

  • Mohammad Adnan Abbasi
    May 12, 2017 - 10:26AM

    Please it must be announce that when Kuwait,s Government will issue visas for Pakistanis .Recommend

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