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Pakistan admits losing Afghan medical tourism to India

22 Dec 2018 - 18:04
22 Dec 2018 - 18:04

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): The government of Pakistan’s medical tourism to India over the last few years due to a shift in its border management policy.

In a written reply to a question from minority lawmaker Mahesh Kumar Malani regarding reasons for the decline in exports to Afghanistan over the past four years, the Ministry of Commerce admitted the loss.

Because of cultural and linguistic commonalties as well as less expensive treatment, Pakistan had been the most frequented place for Afghan medical tourists until 2016.

But due to border restrictions, the patient influx from the neighbouring considerably declined and te flow has largely been diverting to India since 2016.

Apart from the r management policy, issues in getting Pakistani visas, unnecessary security checks, compulsory police report and security clearance 2343 cited as main reasons.

As a consequence, the ministry said, thousands of Afghans travelled to India every month for medical treatment. Pakistan will have to organise, coordinate, facilitate and develop health tourism.

The ministry said it had drawn up a comprehensive policy to regain market access in Afghanistan which was lost to other countries in the past few years.

Afghanistan is the fourth largest export destination for Pakistan after the United States, China and the United Kingdom. The ministry intends to attain the market through trade diplomacy, trade and investment promotion.

In the first step, the future of trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan will be shaped by the evolution of trade throughout the region.


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