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Foreigners can now travel to Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur unrestricted
 
Move to promote tourism in the North-east regionForeigners can now travel to Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur unrestricted

Foreign tourists, except those from Pakistan, China and Afghanistan, will now be allowed to visit some of the most pristine locations of the country which, so far, were out of bounds for them without a special permit, said officials.  The Home Ministry has decided to relax the six-decade-old Protected Area Permit regime for Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur for five years with effect from April 1, a ministry official said.

Review to lift restrictions from other areas tooForeigners can now travel to Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur unrestricted


Under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958, all areas falling between the inner line and the international border of some States were declared as protected areas. The protected areas currently include whole of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim, besides parts of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir. Some parts of Sikkim fall under the protected area regime while others under the restricted area. “A review is under way to lift the PAP from other areas too,” another official said. Citizens from Pakistan, China and Afghanistan, however, continue to be banned from all PAP areas, including Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur.

Earlier every foreigner needed a permit to visit restricted areaForeigners can now travel to Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur unrestricted


As per a December 30, 2010, circular of the ministry, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland were excluded from the protected area regime initially for a period of one year from January 1, 2011, subject to some conditions. As per the guidelines, a foreign national is not normally allowed to visit a protected or restricted area unless the government is satisfied that there are extraordinary reasons to justify his or her visit. Every foreigner, except a citizen of Bhutan, who desires to enter and stay in a protected or restricted area, is required to obtain a special permit.

Citizens from China, Pakistan and Afghanistan still bannedForeigners can now travel to Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur unrestricted


With the aim of promoting tourism, the government exempts some of such restricted or protected areas from the need of special permission for foreigners to visit them. In cases of foreign diplomats, including the members of the United Nations and international organisations holding diplomatic or official passports, special permits are issued by the Ministry of External Affairs. In cases of the citizens of Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin, no permit, however, can be issued without the approval of the Union Home Ministry.

 
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