Travelling abroad can be an arduous process, particularly if you’re a South Asian but positively horrendous if you are Pakistani.
The Pakistani passport has been ranked third in a list of travel documents guaranteed to make the holder look like a headless chicken running between typists, consulates and visa facilitation services, asking friends and relatives to top up bank accounts or drowning in a veritable tsunami of documents in triplicate.
Citizens of Pakistan enjoy visa-free access to just 32 countries – out of a total of 219 countries and territories worldwide – the same number as Somalia to the annual ‘Visa Restrictions Index’ by Henley and Partners, a global immigration and citizenship consultancy.
Countries were ranked according to the number of countries citizens could travel to with a visa. The maximum attainable score was 218 – after a point was deducted to account for a national travelling to their own country.
Pakistan and Somalia only ranked ahead of Iraq and Afghanistan with the Palestinian Territory rounding out the top five worst travel documents.
In South Asia Nepal (37 non-visa destinations) is ranked fifth with Sri Lanka (39) at 7th place. Bangladesh (42) ranked 9th whilst India (52) came in at 19th place, just ahead of Bhutan (51).
The Maldives was the best-ranked in all of South Asia with citizens able to travel to 84 countries visa-free.
Citizens of Finland, Germany, Sweden, USA and the UK have access to the most number of countries, with all able to travel to a staggering 174 countries without a visa.
“Visa requirements are … an expression of the relationships between individual nations and generally reflect the relations and status of a country within the international community of nations”, Henley and Partners said in a statement on its website.