Government of Pakistan has announced new visa policy for afghan nationals; living or visiting across Pakistan. In a revised policy, the government of Pakistan has relaxed visa policy for Afghan citizens specifically for students, businessmen, investors and medical patients. The decision came at the time when the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation of Afghanistan Dr Abdullah Abdullah has visited Pakistan. The country new national policy for Afghan citizens tries to address both the uncertainties and the realities faced by Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Muska Safi, 23 years old is an afghan national living as a refugee’s life in Pakistan. She hails from the capital of Afghanistan. She was only one month old, when migrated to Pakistan. She completed her study and now working in the provincial capital of Pakistan. On contacting to Muska Safi on phone, she expressed her happiness over new Afghan policy said that it’s been two years that I have not visited Afghanistan. She elaborated that my family including my one sister which is married in Afghanistan could not visit due to strict and blur policy for Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Muska recalling her family in Afghanistan said that various family events happened in Afghanistan which we missed due the tension between the two bordering countries and mostly the recent pandemic has effect us alot. She was unaware of the new announcement expresses hope that if the new policy is true then I will be able to attend my cuisine marriage which is going to be in next month at Afghanistan, Safi added Furthermore, she shared that my father was a government employee in Afghanistan and my mother was unable to collect his pension as her visa expired. She explained that now she can go to Afghanistan to collect her father pension because of the ease in visa policy for Afghan refugees in Pakistan, Safi concluded. Earlier, Islamabad policy was to issue only one-time entry visa to Afghan visitors in which Afghan refugees faced multiple problems. To address the issues, the federal government has changed its visa policy for Afghan nationals after modifying the number of visits, entries and validity period. On Tuesday, new amendments being held in travel documents required for Afghan citizens visiting and living across Pakistan. Afghan Students in Pakistan The document available on the internet over a new visa policy narrated that students will be issued visa in accordance with the duration of their study. However, minimum study visa duration is two years. Afghan Traders in Pakistan Afghanistan being major trade partner with Pakistan. Keeping in view the traders who have invested or planned to invest 50 million Pakistani Rupees (PKR), will be issued multiple visas for five years. However, the Traders who have invested or planned to invest 20 – 50 million PKR, will be issued multiple visas for 2 to 3 years in Pakistan. Health Visa for Afghan Citizen In Pakistan, specifically the private hospitals treating a huge number of afghan nationals. To facilitate Afghan nationals coming for the treatment will be issued visa on spot at Torkham, Pak-Afghan border. The visa on arrival base will include serious patients including children, emergency medical care, injured people etc. However, the other patients will be issued visa for 6 months through proper embassy. Afghan Women & Men in Pakistan The policy for Pakistani man who married an Afghan woman and Afghan man who tied knot with Pakistani women had lauded problems across Pakistan. Now, keeping in view the situation , the new policy revealed that Afghan women and men married in Pakistan will be issued multiple visas for five years. Working of Afghan Refugees in Pakistan In Pakistan, most of the Afghan nationals were born and raised in Pakistan, but they are still counted as citizens of Afghanistan. They are allowed to work, rent housing, travel and attend schools in the country. In new visa policy, afghan working in Pakistan will be issued multiple visas for one year which will be renewed after expiry. Registered Afghan Refugees in Pakistan To essence Afghan refugees living in Pakistan, they will be exempted from fine for 14 days whose visa is expired. However, those with POR cards can legally stay in Pakistan and if they want to return, they will be facilitated. Afghan Citizen Visiting Pakistan According to the new policy, the ordinary Afghans who want to come to Pakistan for tourism, or any other purpose will be issued multiple visa for one year while those Afghans working in NGOs will be treated in the same category. Afghan Overseas Visiting Pakistan Afghans residing overseas will be issued single visa for 45 days. If the visitor wants to further stay, the extension process will be facilitated in Pakistan. Pakistan hosts about 3 million Afghan refugees and economic migrants, who have fled from Afghanistan, a state being in violence, religious persecution and poverty for 40 years. In past, the relations between Islamabad and Kabul have long suffered from mutual mistrust and suspicions. The two countries share a nearly 2,600-kilometer border, and each accuses the other for sheltering militants involved in subversive acts on their respective territories. Afghan nationals in Afghanistan are happy for the new visa policy announced by Pakistan. Talking to Bismillah Arman on phone. He belongs to the Khost province and working as a journalist in the capital of Afghanistan. He expressed that previously Pakistan government announced policies for Afghan Refuges but at the end they were never implemented which created more uncertainty among Afghan citizens in Afghanistan. He further elaborated that if the new policy get implemented, it will make ease for Afghan Refugees and specifically for Afghan patients coming for treatment and traders across Pakistan. He welcomed the move and suggested Pakistan government to relax the visa policy even more, such as issuing Afghan visas at every major crossing points between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He shared an experience said that Afghan patients heling from Herat or Kandahar in Afghanistan have to come first to Torkham border for visa where there is always very long queue which is time consuming, Arman added. The Afghan journalist views on Pakistan and Afghanistan relation said that it is also need of hour for Pakistan to relax the visa policy for the people of Afghanistan because Afghan citizen now prefer to go to India for medical treatment and Afghanistan importing things from other countries like Iran and Tajikistan instead of Pakistan which create losses in shape of economy for the bordering country Pakistan, Arman stressed. Furthermore, he explained that visiting India is expensive for Afghan citizen and doing trade with other country also hard but their policy for Afghan Refuges is so relaxed and mostly there are less hurdles to face for the one who visits India or other neighbors country with Afghanistan, Arman concluded. Recently, to boost bilateral trade with Afghanistan, the government Pakistan has decided to open all their border terminals four days a week. To facilitate Afghan citizen, the crossing points will be open for pedestrians on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Moreover, the government has also announce to set up markets on the Pak-Afghan and Pak-Iran borders in which 12 markets are expected to be established along the border with Afghanistan while six markets with Iran. Among like many, Naimatullah Khan is an afghan refugee, associated with Afghan Burger Chain across Pakistan. When he came to know about the new Afghan visa policy, he was unaware of the changes. Naimatullah shared his experience expressed that recently he has travelled to Afghanistan, due to error on the crossing point his entry was not registered, when he was on way back to Pakistan, the border management on Pakistan side didn’t allow him, because of his missing entry. He elaborates that I argued with the authorities that its not my fault but no progress was made and eventually, I took flight to Dubai and went to Pakistan via flight to Faisalabad then to Peshawar which was not only hectic but also cost me so much money. The Afghan business investor expressed happiness over the new policy and called it a relief. He suggested Pakistan government to resume flights from Peshawar to Kabul and also Pak Afghan Dosti Bus service to facilitate Afghan refugees across Pakistan.