ISLAMABAD - Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser on Wednesday said the decision of the federal cabinet for according approval to the new visa policy for Afghanistan had come at a time when Dr Abdullah Abdullah, the Chair of the High Council for National Reconciliation, is in Pakistan.

The speaker said that the new visa regime for Afghanistan was liberal in its scope and application.

He said that various aspects of visa like duration of stay, validity of visa and number of entries in Pakistan had all been substantially liberalized.

The speaker said that it would especially facilitate visiting Afghan brethren, students, businessmen, investors and medical patients.

The speaker said that patients intending for medical treatment would benefit more. He said that visa granted (up to six months) on the Torkhum border to save them the hassle of travelling to Pakistan Embassy in Kabul or Pakistani Consulates. He said that Pakistani Missions in Afghanistan will now also be able to grant visit visa for one year with multiple entries and Business visa for up to five years, which would be extendable within Pakistan. He said that keeping in view the plight of Afghan students, they can now get visa for the whole duration of their studies instead of just for one year.

The approval of the visa policy came at the heels of extensive parliamentary deliberations for the last three months.

, when the Speaker National Assembly, Asad Qaiser took notice of the issue and constituted a Parliamentary Task Force to resolve it. He said that Task Force headed by Special Assistant to the PM on Establishment, Arbab Shahzad after Numerous meetings and visits to the border crossing points were undertaken and an extensive parliamentary input on multiple aspects of the Visa Policy towards liberalizing it.

He said that the new Visa Policy has been framed in the perspective of our brotherly ties with Afghanistan and takes a people centric approach. It will help in bringing the people closer, facilitating common Afghans. The Policy would also greatly benefit bilateral trade & commerce, ushering a new era of mutual prosperity especially people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

It is heartening to announce that the extensive parliamentary deliberations for the last three months, finally resulted in approval of the visa policy for Afghanistan by the Federal Cabinet today. 

This will help in bringing the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan more closer, who are tied in cultural, religious and historic affinities.

Liberalisation of visa policy for Afghanistan will greatly benefit bilateral trade & commerce, ushering a new era of mutual prosperity especially people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.