ISLAMABAD - China has relaxed visa policy/restrictions for Pakistani citizens, revealed chairman Senate Standing committee on Interior.
In the background of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan was issuing visas to Chinese without any restrictions; however, China was not that helpful on reciprocal basis.
Committee chairman said that recently the visa issue was raised with a visiting Chinese delegation. In response to his request, China has agreed to relax visa restriction/ policy for Pakistan business community as well as others. He further said that a letter in this regard has been received from the Chinese authorities.
The committee met here on Monday, where directives were issued to concerned departments to withdraw the permission given to foreign missions for sending Pakistani passports abroad for stamping visas.
Committee chairman said that earlier due to law and order situations cabinet had granted approval to some foreign missions to send Pakistani passports abroad for stamping visas. However, situations have improved in the country and the permission granted to foreign missions should be withdrawn.
While discussing the matters of Immigration and Passport Office, the Committee expressed concerns on how the black list is being managed. The Chairman Committee recommended that in presence of the Exit Control List (ECL), the current black list should not be used for criminal cases; instead it should only pertain to offences related to passports.
He said blacklist has no legal status and neither anyone should be included in blacklist on the desire or complaint of someone rather court order. The Committee also suggested changing the name of the list from black list to restrictive list and called for the administrative minister to be in-charge for deciding the cases of adding or removing names from the list instead of taking it before cabinet for every case.
Malik asked the interior ministry to formulate compact rules and criteria for placing anyone’s name on the ECL and black list, adding that it is the basic responsibility of concerned authority/department to inform the accused person before placing his name either on ECL or black list within the week.
He said that it is the right of accused to have prior information before traveling so that one can avail the legal right to appeal. Malik also directed the DG Immigration and Passport to provide the facility of printing passports for oversees Pakistanis in their respective country as oversees Pakistanis are backbone of the country’s economy and they should be facilitated maximum.