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Dubai: Pakistan has introduced a new initiative as part of tourists friendly policy by allowing them to visit the earlier ‘out of bound’ areas across the country.

Pakistan Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has announced on Tuesday that the government has abolished the NOC (No Objection Certificate) which was required earlier for foreign tourists to visit certain areas in Pakistan.

The initiative is part of Pakistan’s new visa regime announced earlier this month to encourage tourism in the country.

Pakistan initially rolled out a project of visa free policy for five preferred countries including United Arab Emirates, Turkey, China, Malaysia, the United Kingdom.

In January, 2019, the governemnt had announced that it was easing travel restrictions in the hope of reviving tourism by offering visas on arrival to visitors from 50 countries and electronic visas to 175 nationalities.

Some of the major areas which will be open to foreign tourists include:

  • Pakistan-administered Kashmir
  • Gilgit-Baltistan
  • Chitral

Foreign tourists can now visit these area without obtaining an NOC. All the restricted areas are no open to foreign tourists.

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Hon Pass in the Hunza Valley. Pakistan has been ranked the world’s top travel destination for 2018 by the British Backpacker Society, which said the amazing hospitality and breathtaking natural beauty of the country won their hearts. Image Credit: British Backpacker Society

Hussain said in his tweet today: “Another landmark achieved…NOC regime for foreigners come to an end. Vision is to make Pakistan a heaven for tourists and following new visa regime this important policy decision of ending NOC requirement is a leap forward.”

Hussain also shared on twitter a notification issued by the Ministry of Interior.

The notification reads: “Free movement of foreigners shall be allowed in Open Cantonments except prohibited and restricted areas with visible signboards. The border crossings will be open and non-restricted.

“Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Pakistan administered Kashmir), Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral shall be non-restricted/non-prohibited areas as well.

There will be limited restriction for foreign tourists as they will not be able to enter certain prohibited zones listed below:

  • Pak-China border (10 miles)
  • Pak-Afghan border (10 miles)
  • Kashmir along Line of Control (5 miles)
  • Gilgit-Baltistan along LoC (5 miles)
  • Siachen along Line of Actual Contact (10 miles)

Gilgit-Baltistan along LoC (5 miles)