Pakistan's Minister of Interior Prof Ahsan Iqbal announced that Pakistan is contemplating to launch an electronic visa system and issue Electronic Visas to foreign visitors. The purpose of this move would be to facilitate travel to Pakistan and motivate visitors and investors to come. The country wants to better its position in the global economy and promote investment and Pakistan as a tourist destination.
On Monday night, Ahsan Iqbal addressed members of the Pakistani community at the high commission in London. Iqbal said to his audience, "We are in the process of issuing e-Visa soon in consultation with our foreign office like other countries to the genuine visitors and investors soon thus making Pakistan a member of the global economy and the best investment and tourist destination in the world." The reception was attended by a large number of the British Pakistani community as well as Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, Lord Qurban, and members of the UK Parliament Illyas Amin Qureshi and Muhammad Yasin.
Ahsan Iqbal also spoke about the country as one of the best destinations for investors with an attractive market of 207 million people and an emerging middle class. According to a report by the Tribune, "he urged them to take into account investment opportunities in various parts of the economy, including the information technology sector." Ahsan Iqbal argues that Pakistanis who live overseas can contribute greatly to the socio-economic development of the country.
Pakistani Electronic Visa to Promote Tourism
Pakistan, Ahsan Iqbal said, is currently a stable government and stressed that this should continue. A stable government is good for tourism, which is a growing industry in Pakistan. An electronic visa system would facilitate travel and would encourage foreign visitors to visit the country.
The country of Pakistan is a geographically and ethnically diverse country with much to offer to visitors and investors. According to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report from 2017, released by the World Economic Forum, in 2015 travel and tourism in Pakistan contributed with 328.3 million USD which constituted 2.8% of the total GDP that year. The Pakistani government predicts that tourism can contribute billions of dollars to the Pakistani economy.
There's no doubt that Pakistan has an abundance of natural resources and a rich history. The country, however, has been plagued by political instability which has had a negative impact on how Pakistan is perceived abroad. The country wants to shake off this image and encourage investors and visitors to discover the beauty of Pakistan for themselves. Travelers will be mesmerized by the Naltar Valley, which boasts colorful lakes and mountains covered in pine trees. There's an abundance of valleys and historic sites that will conquer anyone's heart.
In recent years, many other countries have decided to launch an electronic visa system in order to promote tourism and have better border control. Last December, Egypt launched the e-Visa for Egypt, precisely because tourism is a very important aspect of their economy.
Ahsan Iqbal did not share many more details about the electronic visa for Pakistan, but he did state that they are in the process of issuing e-Visas. Once ready, the country will release the necessary requirements and conditions for their e-Visa.