ISLAMABAD – In a major policy decision, the government has made it mandatory for the Pakistani missions abroad to issue visas to foreigners intending to visit Pakistan only after their clearance from the country’s top intelligence agency ISI.
Well-placed government sources told The Nation on Friday that the move had come after thorough deliberations and in view of the security situation in the country. Sources privy to these developments maintained that the decision had been taken after reports of undesired activities of some foreigners especially, the Americans and foreign journalists.
According to the informed sources, the intelligence agencies have taken serious notice of the objectionable activities of some foreign journalists in Gilgit-Baltistan during the recent elections.
Sources said that under the new guidelines, the foreigners intending to visit Pakistan will have to give the purpose of their visit and duration of their stay with an NOC so as to hold them accountable.
Sources further said that those whose visas had expired and needed short duration visa would have to go back to their respective countries in line with the new guidelines.
Pakistani origin nationals from various western countries including the US would, however, go through the same Code of Conduct/procedure for their visas.