PESHAWAR: Foreign tourists will no longer require a no-objection certificate (NoC) when they travel to Malakand Division.
This was stated in a letter issued by K-P Home and Tribal Affairs department on March 29 and made public on Wednesday. The letter has been addressed to the secretary for sports, culture, tourism, youth affairs, archaeology and museum department and IGP Nasir Durrani.
According to a copy of the letter available with The Express Tribune, the recipients were told “Malakand Division was no longer a restricted area and was declared open for foreign tourists”.
The home and tribal affairs department has demanded the contents of the letter be immediately released to the quarters concerned, particularly foreigners visiting
“The Pakistan Association of Tour Operators [should also be] facilitated in planning tours.”
Copies of the letter have also been forwarded to Corps Headquarters Peshawar, the intelligence bureau joint director general, personal staff officer to the chief minister, personal staff officer to K-P chief secretary, additional IGP of special branch, among others.
According to a statement issued by Tourism Corporation Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) on Wednesday, the NoC was “a major obstacle in the way of foreign tourists” who wanted to travel to Malakand Division.
“As travel restrictions have been lifted and the NoC no longer poses a hurdle, foreign tourists can visit Swat, Chitral and other areas with ease,” the statement read. “This will benefit the tourism industry in the province.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2016.