Pakistan to ease restrictions on visas to promote tourism

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan has announced plans to ease visa restrictions for tourists from 90 countries, including the U.S. and Europe, in a bid to revive its tourism sector, decimated by years of negligence and problems with militants.

Cabinet minister Fahmida Mirza announces the plans on Friday in Islamabad. She pledged authorities would do everything possible to ensure the safety of visiting tourists.

Mirza says citizens of 175 countries will be able to obtain visas electronically, over the internet. She says visitors from 50 countries, including America, will be able to get their visas on arrival rather than through Pakistani embassies abroad.

Pakistan has K-2, the world's second-highest mountain, scenic valleys in the north and beautiful deserts but its tourism has industry has suffered serious setbacks because of violence that plagues the country.

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