Hunting tourism | Pakistan Introduces New SOP

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Interior, Government of Pakistan has devised a new standard operating procedure (SOP) for all foreigners visiting Pakistan to hunt animals. According to the new SOP, all foreign guests and dignitaries are now required to share information regarding their travel details to the relevant authorities at least 72 hours prior to their arrival.

As per the approved  SOP  by the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will have to share information of the staff associated with foreign dignitaries with all relevant quarters a week before they enter  in Pakistan.

 

The new rules, copies of which have been sent to all relevant ministries, Pakistan’s diplomatic missions abroad, embassies and high commissions in various countries in Pakistan, make it clear that no foreigner can enter Pakistan without obtaining a valid visa and completing the immigration procedure.

It says that those trying to enter Pakistan without a visa or without completing immigration requirements could face arrest and trial.

Following some incident the interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan sent a provincial governments and Pakistan’s missions abroad a communiqué directing them to implement the rules. “It should be ensured that foreign staff coming with royal family (members) follows the rules for obtaining Pakistani visa,” the letter reads. It asks the relevant authorities to make sure that the staff arriving ahead of such guests, lands at main airports rather than at smaller airbases.

The new SOP bans issuance of landing permits (a visa for 72 hours issued upon arrival) and requires all foreigners, intending to hunt in Pakistan, to obtain a visa before they arrive in the country. It has also identified landing points for all flights carrying hunting parties. It requires the Federal Investigation Agency, the Anti-Narcotics Force, the Customs department and the local administration to provide immigration, customs, security and other facilities at the designated landing points.

All relevant institutions are to appoint focal persons to coordinate matters relating to enforcement of the new rules. The FIA has been asked to send all relevant details to the interior ministry immediately after clearing these flights.

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