Pakistan is going to revise the visa regime for business persons of 67 countries — which have been previously declared as Business Friendly Countries — who enjoyed the facility of getting business visa on arrival.
This was stated by Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Interior Mariam Aurangzaib while responding to a supplementary question in the National Assembly. This policy, applicable since 2006, was aimed at encouraging business-persons to get visa on arrival without facing any difficulty.
She said that the government is working on revising this regime and will evolve policy on reciprocal basis as these 67 countries don’t have the same policy for Pakistani businessmen.
According to a list provided by the interior ministry, there had been a total of 5,573 terrorist attacks carried out in the country between 2010 and 2013. In 2010, there were 1,467 attacks, followed by 1,467 attacks in 2013.
During the period in question, 3,098 terrorist attacks were carried out in Balochistan, making it the most troubled province. It was followed by 1,499 attacks in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 153 in Sindh, 648 in Fata and 100 attacks in Punjab. According to the records, 8,484 persons have died in these assaults, as the highest number of casualties occurred in 2010.
During the last five years, as many as 184 children were killed and 538 injured in the terrorist attacks only in K-P and Giligit-Baltistan.
The interior ministry provided the details on a question tabled by PPP lawmaker Nafeesa Shah. It said that in K-P 182 children were killed in terrorist attacks, whereas, two children were killed in G-B and one in the ICT area. No child was killed in any terrorist attack in Punjab and Azad Jammu and Kashmir during the last five years.
The ministry of interior also informed the NA that as many as 3,112 foreigners have been arrested during the last one year and of them 2,761 were deported to their countries. Of them, the highest number of 2,481 were Afghan nationals.
NA session adjourned
National Assembly’s session was adjourned to next week, after the question hour, due to lack of quorum. Two-thirds of the members were missing from the lower house because of which the Deputy Speaker adjourned the house until Monday.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2014.