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Pakistan contemplating to issue e-visa soon: Ahsan Iqbal

LONDON (APP): Minister for Interior Prof.Ahsan Iqbal has said that Pakistan was contemplating to issue Electronic Visa (E-Visa) soon like other countries, to facilitate visitors and investors, in order to make the country member of the global economy and best investment and tourist destination.

“We are in the process of issuing E-Visa soon in consultation with our foreign office like other countries to the genuine visitors and investors soon thus making Pakistan a member of the global economy and the best investment and tourist destination in the world”, he said while addressing the Pakistani community at a reception hosted in his honour in Pakistan high commission.

Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner to United Kingdom Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri , Lord Qurban, Members of the UK Parliament Illyas Amin Qureshi and Muhammad Yasin, officials of Pakistan High Commission London and a large number of the members of British Pakistani community and journalists attended the reception.

Prof Ahsan Iqbal who is currently on an official visit to the UK said that due to prudent policies of the PML-N government Pakistan’s economy was on the takeoff position and poised to become one of the fastest growing economies of the world.

The Minister said that when PML-N government came into power after May 2013 elections, Pakistan economy was in shamble, there were 18-20 hours load shedding and industries were also not getting the electricity,Pakistan’s economy was frozen at 3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while the law and order situation was also alarming with dozens killed in bomb blasts on daily basis.

The Interior Minister was of the view that Newsweek at that time in a report had declared Pakistan as the most dangerous country than Iraq besides dubbing Pakistan a stone age country due to nonavailability of electricity.

The PML-N government under the leadership of former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his team worked day and night to overcome these issue, he added.

Ahsan Iqbal said that after the hectic efforts of four years and prudent policies and initiation of energy projects by the government not only ensured supply of 24-hour electricity to domestic consumers but also supplied electricity to industrial sector besides adding 11000 megawatts of electricity in the national grid.

He added that due to actions were taken against the terrorists, the law and order situation has been restored besides ensuring peace in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

He said that peace has also been restored in Karachi which is the financial capital of Pakistan.

The Interior Minister said that PML-N government signed the US $ 46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with China and so far the US $ 29 billion projects have been energized.

He said that credit of exploiting and exploring the Thar coal project went to present government which was ignored for the last seventy years.

Highlighting the potential of Thar coal reserves, he said that the area has the potential to the energy values equal to Saudi Arabi and Iran.

He said that Thar coal mines can fulfill the energy requirements of Pakistan for the four hundred years (400) years.

Pakistan, he said under CPEC would build Gawadar Maritime port making it one of the best maritime ports in Aian region.

He said that last year Pakistan has achieved a GDP growth rate of 5.3 percent, besides industrial growth and growth in remittances were also the highest of the last nine years.

Ahsan Iqbal told the Pakistani diaspora that Pakistan has now become one of the best investment-friendly destinations for investors with an attractive market of 207 million people with emerging middle class.

He called upon them to take benefit of maximum investment opportunities in various sectors of the economy including the Information Technolgy sector and play their vital role in the socio-economic development of Pakistan.

He also urged them to invite UK investors to come forward and take maximum investment opportunity being offered in various sectors of the economy in Pakistan through their investments and government would fully facilitate them in this regard.

Ahsan Iqbal also urged Pakistani diaspora of UK to send maximum remittances to Pakistan through official and banking channels and also participate in the development of their motherland through making investments.

He assured them that their genuine problems which they indicated would be looked into and resolved them on a priority basis.

Ahsan Iqbal said that government was making efforts to boost exports, attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and remittances from overseas Pakistanis for the economic prosperity of the country.

Pakistan, he said was now on road to progress and in a take-off position owing to the restoration of peace in the country and good economic policies initiated by the present government.

Replying to a question, he said that people of Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) were facing worst kind of atrocities at the hand of occupation forces and called upon the international community including the UK to play their vital role in the provision of justice to the people of IOK.

He said Pakistan was now a strong and stable democracy and stressed the need for political stability and continuity of policies for the prosperity of the country.

In his opening remarks, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri welcomed the Interior Minister and appreciated his leading role in the formulation of Vision 2025 and CPEC for Pakistan.

He said that Minister has returned from successful Washington visit and come to Pakistan High Commission London to meet the Pakistani community living in the UK.

He hoped that visit of the Minister would help further strengthen the bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United Kingdon.

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