Visa restrictions eased for Chinese nationals

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-Entry visa to Chinese citizens working in CPEC projects to be provided within 48 hours
-A separate subcategory of CPEC visas will be established
-Cabinet approves review committee on TLP ban
-Asad Umar defends economic growth figures, credits PM’s COVID strategy for better performance

By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai

ISLAMABAD: Federal cabinet on Tuesday approved special visa package for Chinese nationals related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.
Sharing decisions taken by the 226th meeting of the cabinet during the incumbent tenure, Fawad Chaudhry disclosed that the cabinet approved a “special visa process” for Chinese citizens working on CPEC projects or those who wanted to invest in the country.
“Pakistani missions in China will provide a two-year work entry visa to Chinese citizens for CPEC [projects] within 48 hours. Security clearance will be given within 30 days. Separate immigration counters will be established on the line of green channel for CPEC business visa holders,” he shared.
“For work/business visa, a separate subcategory of CPEC visas will be established. Similarly, in China, separate desks will be established at Pakistani missions for considering CPEC visas,” he added.
PM praised for economic growth: Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Tuesday credited Prime Minister Imran Khan’s strategy for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic for the country’s better economic performance despite earlier projections.
He said that the country has witnessed unprecedented growth during the pandemic as the prime minister personally lead the charge of the construction sector besides an increase in the harvest of four major crops in the country.
“Wheat, rice, and corn’s production witnessed an increase, followed by second-highest harvest of sugar cane in the country during the year,” he said and added that large-scale manufacturing has also witnessed an increase of 10 percent monthly. Committee approved to review TLP ban:
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who addressed the press conference before Umar, apprised the media of decisions taken by the cabinet, including the approval of a proscription review committee that would decide on the ban imposed on Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) last month.
Chaudhry said the proscribed party had submitted a request to review the ban and under the Anti-Terrorism Act, the government was bound to form a committee comprising officials of the interior ministry for review.
During the meeting, the cabinet “welcomed the improvement of relations” between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, he said, adding: “We believe that a reduction of grievances among Muslim ummah will bring stability in the world and we support it.”
A point-by-point presentation on the government’s bill on electoral reforms was given by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan, he said.
Chaudhry said the government was “waiting for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take action” on how its social media pages were misused, in an apparent reference to the ECP sharing a journalist’s vlog on Twitter in which he termed Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) as “expensive fraud”.