SUNDAY TIMES WEB DESK: Talking to media in Manchester, Zulfikar Bukhari said the government was going to launch the service in few weeks on trial basis for Saudi Arabia, China, Dubai, the United Kingdom and Malaysia.

“If this initiative turns out to be successful then 182 countries will be provided e-visa facility,” he said.

The government of Pakistan last month decided to relax visa rules for 97 countries in the first phase, to attract tourists and the foreign investment in the country.

Sources privy to the matter said that the decision was taken in a important meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan with COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Information Minister, Fawad Chaudhry, State Minister for Interior, Shehryar Afridi and others in attendance.

The prime minister reportedly directed the foreign and the interior ministries to form different categories for visa relaxation in a prompt manner to create ease for the visitors, the sources said.