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Pakistan set to tighten 'lenient' Chinese visa policy after 'IS killings'

The conditions and requirements for issuance of business and work visas to the Chinese nationals will be reviewed to ensure better security for them, Pakistan's interior ministry said. Photograph: (Zee News Network)

PTI Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan Jun 22, 2017, 08.21 AM (IST)

Pakistan will review its 'lenient' visa policy for Chinese nationals to plug the loopholes in the current system, weeks after the killing of two Chinese 'missionaries' who entered the country on business visas.

The conditions and requirements for issuance of business and work visas to the Chinese nationals will be reviewed, the Interior Ministry said in a statement yesterday.

The decision comes days after Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had been informed that the murdered Chinese citizens were missionaries who were part of a group of Chinese nationals which obtained business visas and entered Pakistan.

Chinese nationals - Lee Zing Yang, 24, and Meng Li Si, 26 had been kidnapped in the city of Quetta in Balochistan province on May 24 by unknown gunmen and later murdered.

Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for their killing.

"The decision has been taken to ensure transparency in the visa process and also to preclude misuse of visa-friendly regime that exists between the two countries," it said.

It was part of efforts to ensure maximum security of the Chinese nationals visiting Pakistan on various visa categories and to streamline and regulate the entire process of visa issuance to Chinese nationals, the statement said.

According to officials, the murdered Chinese nationals were "misusing their business visas".

Taking note of a few incidents of showing forged and fake documents of ghost companies, it was decided to regulate the process of granting extensions in business visas and the authority to extend such visas have been transferred from the regional passport offices to headquarters in Islamabad.

Pakistani missions abroad would issue a maximum of one year multiple entry work visa and further extensions in work visa would be granted by the Ministry of Interior only.

Khan said that a comprehensive mechanism should be put in place for sharing of information of not only $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor related workers but also of other Chinese nationals visiting the country.

Keeping in view various issues being faced by the foreign spouses who are married to Pakistani nationals, it was decided to re-introduce Pakistan Origin Cards to the foreign spouses after addressing certain issues that led to suspension of these cards. 

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