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57,000 foreigners visited KP during last three years

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Published: January 25, 2014 03:26 pm

ISLAMABAD: As many as 57,933 foreigners of more than 30 countries visited the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) during the last three years, and most of them had the nationality of Afghanistan, India, United
States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

After the incident of 9/11, the International non-governmental organizations (INGOs) with the support of foreign missions have become active in KPK, especially in the development sector, and the visits of foreigners to the region have increased since then.

Although, the INGOs have done tremendous job for the uplift of various sectors, including education, health and others but the frequent
visits of delegations from only few countries have created suspicions too. To regulate foreigners’ visits, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has advised foreign missions and non-governmental organizations to obtain permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the visit of their employees to the province to avoid unpleasant incidents.

According to the information provided by Home and Tribal Affairs Department in the KP Assembly during its 9th session in response to the question of MPA Gohar Ali Shah, the city of Peshawar was visited by 49,458  foreigners, as it is very close to the tribal agencies and has been frequently visited by Afghans, Americans, British, Canadians and the Indians.

The House was further informed that Shangla was visited by 6,200 foreigners, followed by Chitral (1,232), Lower Dir (433), Dera Ismail Khan (271), Swabi (146), Mardan (58), Buner (28), Swat (25), Mansehra (21), Kohat and Nowshera (17 each), Hangu (14), Bannu (9) and Lakki Marwat (4). The Home Ministry, in a written reply, further informed the House that it has only entry records of foreigners and the reason for their visit was not available with them.

The Assembly was, however, apprised that the foreigners remained under strict observation during their stay in the provincial metropolis. According to the instructions issued by KP Home and Tribal Affairs Department, the areas close to the border have been declared out-ofbound for the staff of foreign missions, including ambassadors, and employees of international non-governmental organizations (INGOs).

“Visits to areas close to the international border shall not be allowed, interaction/  interview with political and religious personalities as well as common people of the area, too, are not allowed,” according to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the Home Department, underlying criteria for the foreigners’ visit to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

It is to be recalled that the province has recently witnessed scenes of police intercepting staff of the US Embassy, Islamabad, at Peshawar’s entry points. They were sent back after they could not produce the official  ermission letter duly issued by the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Posted by on January 25, 2014. Filed under Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly,News,Questions,Questions Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry