PakistanTravel & Tour

Pakistani Passport Ranked Fourth Worst Globally

Pakistani passport holders have little to cheer about in the new year as their passport remains one of the least powerful in the world, according to a global ranking of passport power.

The Henley Passport Index, which ranks 199 passports based on the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa, places Pakistan at 101st position out of 104 countries in its 2024 Global Mobility Report. This means that Pakistani citizens can only visit 34 out of 227 destinations visa-free or visa-on-arrival, while the average number of destinations accessible visa-free by travelers around the world is 111.

Pakistan’s passport ranking has not improved for at least the last five years, and has declined from 90th position in 2019 to 101st position in 2024. The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the largest and most accurate travel information database.

The report highlights the significant disparity in global mobility, especially between the countries with the most and the least powerful passports. The top spot on the index is shared by six countries — France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain — whose citizens can travel to 194 destinations without a visa. These countries have climbed up two ranks from the third position in 2023, overtaking Singapore and Japan, which were the sole leaders in the previous year.

The second spot on the index is occupied by three countries — Finland, South Korea, and Sweden — with visa-free access to 193 destinations, while the third spot is shared by four countries — Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands — with access to 192 destinations.

On the other end of the spectrum, Afghanistan remains the worst passport in the world, with its citizens only able to visit 28 destinations without a visa. Syria and Iraq are the second and third worst passports, respectively, with access to 29 and 31 destinations.

The report also shows that Pakistan lags behind its South Asian neighbors in passport power, as India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal all have higher rankings and more visa-free destinations than Pakistan. India ranks 80th on the index, with access to 62 destinations, while Bangladesh ranks 97th, with access to 42 destinations. Sri Lanka and Nepal rank 96th and 98th, respectively, with access to 45 and 40 destinations.

The chairperson of Henley & Partners, Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, who invented the passport index concept, says that the passport power ranking reflects the state of global affairs and the relations between countries. He says that the ranking also has implications for the economic and social development of nations, as visa-free travel facilitates trade, tourism, and cultural exchange.

He adds that the global mobility gap between the top and bottom of the index is now wider than ever, and that the Covid-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the inequalities in travel freedom. He says that the recovery of global mobility will depend on how countries manage the health crisis and cooperate with each other.

He also says that the future of travel will be shaped by technology, as digitalization and biometrics will enable more seamless and secure travel experiences. He says that travelers will need to share their data in advance of travel to achieve this goal.

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