Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday launched the new online visa system for foreign tourists during a ceremony held in Islamabad.
According to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s official Twitter account, the new e-visa scheme will facilitate visitors from 175 countries.
According to National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), with the introduction of the online facility, tourists seeking to obtain visas to Pakistan will be able to do so within the comforts of their home, without having to visit a Pakistan embassy or consulate.
They simply have to log in to https://visa.nadra.gov.pk, fill out the application, upload the required documents and make the visa fee payment.
Successful applicants will be sent a notification via email and SMS which will be reviewed upon entry into Pakistan.
“Pakistan has seen tough times in its efforts to combat terrorism but the situation today is different,” said the prime minister, during his address at the ceremony, giving credit to the efforts of the security forces and intelligence agencies.
“Pakistan is a secure country today. The next season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) will be held in its entirety in Pakistan instead of Dubai,” he said resolutely.
“I know how boring it used to be to play in front of empty stands,” he told the audience recalling his days as a cricketer.
The prime minister hailed the launch of the visa portal as a “big step”.
“Today I especially congratulate the interior ministry and foreign office. People don’t realise that this is a very big change today,” he said, before going on to quote the Chinese proverb: “To take a 1000 mile journey you have to take the first step.”
“This is the first step to open up the country, the Naya (new) Pakistan. Pakistan always had a mindset: make it as difficult as you can to grant anyone visas,” he said, adding that the prevailing thought seemed to have been: “It’s better if they don’t come.”
He said that in the 60s there was great self confidence and self belief that Pakistan is moving up in the world at a pace faster than others and the world too saw and recognised that fact.