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Govt conditionally ‘allows’ Israeli citizens to visit Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has conditionally allowed Israeli citizens to visit the country which officially does not recognize the Zionist state.

Recently, the Interior Ministry released rules and regulations for citizens of seven countries for visiting Pakistan. The list contained the names of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nigeria, Somalia, Palestine, and Israel.

The conditional permission to citizens of Israel shocked people as Pakistan has not recognized Israel. When people reacted strongly to the list, the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports blamed the interior ministry for the “mistake” and ordered “correction”.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has recently issued rules and regulations for citizens of the seven countries for visiting Pakistan.

On its website, the FIA explained rules and regulations for Israeli citizens visiting Pakistan. They were required to register themselves with the police and seek a stay permit from the district police officer (DPO) of the concerned district.

Israeli citizens were also supposed to return the ‘stay permit’ before leaving the country; otherwise, they would not be issued the ‘travel permit’, which is mandatory for leaving the country.

According to the rules, people having ‘work visa’ or ‘Saarc visa’ would be exempt from police registration. Similarly, Israeli citizens are also exempt from police registration, but Indian citizens have to register themselves with the police after arrival in Pakistan.

However, Immigration Director Ismatullah Junejo said the list was issued by the interior ministry. He added that the Ministry has included the name of Israel in the list. “It is a mistake and Israel’s name is being removed from the list after it was pointed out by the media,” he added.