Govt lifts ban on foreign tourists’ visa for Gilgit Baltistan: Baligh

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ISLAMABAD, Jun 2 (APP): State Minister for Interior Muhammad
Baligh-Ur-Rehman on Friday informed the Senate that the government has lifted ban on foreign tourists visa for Gilgit Baltistan.
Replying to a calling attention notice of Senator Karim Ahmed Khawaja in
the upper house of the parliament, the minister said that the government has lifted this ban on May 22 this year to encourage tourism industry.
He said that this ban was imposed in year 1954 due to sensitivity of the
area and to ensure security of foreign tourists. He however said that now foreign tourists can visit Gilgit Baltistan on tourist visa and there is no requirement of any no objection certificate (NOC) for them.
He said that the decision of lifting ban on tourists’ visa was made on
the request of the Gilgit Baltistan government. He said that instructions have been passed on to the government of Gilgit Baltistan for setting up new tourists centres and deploying police for security of foreign tourists.
He said that the government of Gilgit Baltistan has assured to set-up
tourists centers and ensuring security of foreign tourists, on which the government has lifted the ban. He supported Senator Khawaja for allowing foreign tourists to visit Gilgit Baltistan.
Earlier, Senator Karim Ahmed Khawaja on a calling attention notice said
that tourism being a leading industry in Gilgit Baltistan was facing problems due to imposition of ban on foreign tourists to visit Gilgit Baltistan while getting NOC from the Ministry of Interior.