ISLAMABAD - Ministry of Interior has decided to prosecute those foreigners under the law entering Pakistan without valid visas or ignoring due process of immigration.
The ministry took the decision following the earlier step of the government, in the first week of this month, to suspend facility of ‘visa on arrival’ by banning issuance of landing permits to foreigners accompanying some foreign dignitaries or delegations.
A meeting at the ministry has decided that after the suspension of landing permits, all foreigners entering Pakistan without valid visas or without completing immigration process would be proceeded against under the law of Pakistan which could include arrest and prosecution, a spokesperson of the interior ministry said. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan attended the meeting.
The Ministry of Interior is taking serious steps to streamline the country’s visa regime following an article of former Pakistani ambassador to US Hussain Haqqani appeared in the Washington Post claiming that he had issued visas to US officials to facilitate them in haunt and kill operation of former Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
The ministry had also taken serious note of visa irregularities and breach of security protocols by the advance teams and accompanying staff of various hunting parties especially from the royal families of Middle East. According to some unconfirmed reports, some Indians also landed at a national airport in Sindh as part of advance team of foreign hunting party while ignoring the due immigration process and security clearance.
The minister has ordered the officials of ministry, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to put in place an effective system for streamlining and checking any breach of law, the spokesperson added.
The interior minister ordered the officials concerned to identify all airports and landing strips in the country where delegations arrive for hunting purpose, devise Standing Operating Procedures(SOPs) for immigration and customs clearance at the places lacking these facilities.
They were asked to evolve a robust mechanism of information sharing among the immigration department, interior ministry and the aviation division.
He directed that the process be completed within one week time.
He said that FIA and CAA should ensure that no plane is allowed to land in the country without prior clearance of interior ministry. He reiterated his call that nobody should be allowed to enter Pakistan without completing immigration procedures.
The meeting decided that aviation division and FIA would ensure that landing permission should only be granted after ascertaining number of people on board, their nationality and the nature of their visas.
The minister also reviewed progress on his earlier directives regarding traffic management in the twin cities.
It was also decided during the meeting that e-ticketing would be started in the federal capital within next two weeks to streamline the system of penalties for traffic rules violations and to save the citizens from hassles of long queue outside designated banks for depositing challan fee.
Expressing his dissatisfaction over the traffic management system, the chair observed that scientific methods should be adopted for traffic regulation and management. He reiterated that cameras of Safe City Project should be utilised for optimum resource management and smooth traffic flow.
The interior minister ordered Islamabad police chief to review traffic arrangements and focus on better traffic discipline and management rather than harassing people over fancy registration plates. The minister directed that emphasis should be put on traffic discipline, action against tinted glasses, forged, unregistered or fake registration plates. The meeting was attended among others by acting secretary interior, advocate general, IG Police, chief commissioner and senior officers of interior ministry, FIA, as well as aviation division.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 19-Apr-2017 here.