Thank you for support during pandemic: Pakistan minister – Muscat Daily

Muscat – Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari, Special Advisor to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Minister of Overseas & Human Resources Development and Chairman of Tourism Board, is on a three-day visit to Oman to thank the Pakistani diaspora here for extending support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking exclusively to Muscat Daily, Bukhari said that he has also come “with all humility” to express gratitude to His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik and his government as well as his Omani counterparts with whom he worked closely during the ongoing pandemic.
“I came here to pay my special thanks to the Pakistani diaspora in Oman who gave hundreds and thousands (of rials) to the Prime Minister’s COVID-19 fund which helped with rations and necessities during the pandemic in Pakistan.
“The Pakistani diaspora helped us and made the repatriation of over 600,000 people from around the world easy. Oman was onea of the easiest experiences of repatriation due to the efforts of Ambassador Ahsan Wagan.”
He also thanked the concerned government authorities for waiving various fines and charges during repatriation of Pakistani citizens.
Elaborating on the purpose of his visit, Bukhari said he will also follow up with a business delegation that visited Pakistan recently “showing that we are very serious about it (boosting trade)”.
After a gap of 20 years, the chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a delegation of distinguish Omani businessmen visited Pakistan.
“The delegation was well received by the president, ministers and Prime Minister Imran Khan. With the visit, we realised there is so much synergy and scope for further collaboration. We need to work with Oman. We have not been able to focus on Oman as much as we should have,” he added.
In reference to Oman Vision 2040, he said Pakistan is keen to play a key role in furthering the vision. “We want to be involved in not only providing manpower but also in transfer of technology, be it in IT or other sectors. Pakistan has some of the best blockchain workers in the world.”
Speaking on the tourism potential of the country, he said, “We eased our visa system and made it a lot easier for people to visit with online visas. We got rid of the restrictions of intercity travel within Pakistan for foreigners. Earlier, tourists needed NOC to travel intercity. For instance, if foreign tourists wanted to go to Islamabad from Lahore, they would require an NOC, which we have abolished now.
“We are reviewing our visa policy and recently we have added 30 countries on our visa-on-arrival list and allow passengers from 180 countries to travel with e-visas. I am sure we can put Oman in the next batch for visa on arrival.”
(Text and Photo by Syed Fasiuddin)
Launched on October 10, 2009, Muscat Daily is now the largest selling broadsheet newspaper in the Sultanate of Oman with 33,500 daily copies and 28,000 subscribers.. Muscat Daily provides unrivalled national news coverage from Oman, the region and internationally.
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