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Pakistan lifts visa restrictions for Afghans

KABUL: Pakistani Ambassador to Kabul says that his country has decided to simplify visa conditions for Afghans.

Mansoor Ahmed Khan said Wednesday that university students and patients would be given priority under the new visa policy.

“Issuing of visa stopped because of the Corona virus outbreak, but now we restarted the process with a new policy. We now issue one-year visa that was previously for six months which began yesterday (Tuesday). We will extend the visa issuing to help those Afghans who travel to Pakistan. Also, sick people and university students are in priority,” Khan said, adding that 5,000 Afghans receive visas per day.

But people who want to take Pakistan visa, say about corruption and other problems in Pakistan embassy in Kabul and its consulates in provinces.

“Taking bribe should stop. I am not well-off, I am sick and want to go to Pakistan for surgery,” said Malang, a 52 year old man waiting for visa at the Pakistan embassy.

“I am studying at a Pakistan university and came here to take visa. But we face problems here at the Pakistan embassy and the embassy guards even beat up people,” said Abdul Tawwab, another Afghan who also wants to take Pakistan visa.

Pakistan’s consulates are in the provinces of Balkh, Herat, Kandahar and Nangarhar.

“I came to the consulate 10 days ago, but I still wait for visa. I could take it by giving money if I was rich,” Lal Marjan, a Nangarhar resident said.

Thousands of Afghans go to Pakistan embassy and consulates every day for visa. Some of them go to meet their relatives, others for business, but the majority of Afghans go for medical treatment.

The visa facility came after Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of reconciliation council asked for simplification in a visit to Islamabad.

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