Thursday, July 14, 2011

Travel to Israel on Pakistani Passport: Law and Penalties

 By Yasser Latif Hamdani

I was asked to determine whether any penalties existed for a citizen and national of Pakistan carrying a Pakistani passport and travelling to Israel.   The short answer is yes: it is prohibited under law and subject to imprisonment of up to one (01) year or fine or both.   The detailed answer is as follows:

I.                   Issue

Islamic Republic of Pakistan has no formal diplomatic ties with the State of Israel.  The Pakistani passport voluntarily and exclusively rules out validity for Israel exclusively.  The State of Israel as a policy does not deny visas to Pakistani nationals. The question is whether Pakistani nationals travelling to Israel on a Pakistani passport are subject to any penalties in Pakistan consequently? 

II.                Rule

The Pakistani passport is a valid document of travelled issued in the name of the President of Pakistan under the Passports Act of 1974 (“Act”).    Section 3 of the Act reads:

“3. Prohibition of departure from Pakistan without passport: No citizen of Pakistan shall

(a) depart from Pakistan by any means whatever unless he is in possession of a passport, nor otherwise than from such port or place, by such route and in accordance with such conditions as may be prescribed; or

(b) Visit a foreign country unless his passport is valid for such country”

Contravention of Section 3 of the Act is punishable under Section 4 of the Act:

“4. Punishment for contravention of Section 3, etc.: (1) A citizen of Pakistan who is of the age of twelve years or more shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both; if he ‑‑

(a)   contravenes or attempts to contravene or abets the contravention of any of the provisions of Section 3;”

It further goes on to state, under 4(3) of the Act, that the offence shall be non-bailable:

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1898) an offence punishable under sub‑section (1) or sub‑section (2) shall be non‑bailable.”

III.             Analysis

At the outset I might point out that there exists no case law on the issue of travel to the State of Israel. There are known instances of people travelling to Israel, including some renowned religious scholars, without any harassment on their return.  As a general policy, Israelis comply and refrain from stamping the passport which as such deprives the authorities in Pakistan actionable cause.

 However the law is quite clear and in so far as the query goes, the act of such travel is a criminal and non-bailable offence under law which underscores its seriousness.

IV.             Conclusion

Strictly under law, the proposition of such travel is fraught with danger both in terms of diplomatic protection for such a national within the state of Israel (i.e. such a national would not enjoy Pakistan’s diplomatic protection) and also in terms of being guilty of a criminal offence in the territory of Pakistan.  Furthermore one cannot rule out the general harassment that a national was to face from various security agencies and the like in Pakistan. 


  1. Yasser,
    The Israelis have a fine country well worth traveling, religion, politics... aside. In general, the Jews are unique in many admirable ways. And one should respect that always.

  2. we respect them?
    why ?

    because they kill hundred of palstines people and raped 1000 of girls daily ,,,

    think deep dear
    if your daughter or sister raped by zoinist or ur brother or son killed by zoinist
    what should u do

    we need second hitler ,,,,pray for next hitler

  3. Israel has become one of the most popular destinations for the religious reasons. I like your post because; it is one of the most popular tourist destinations due to its importance to the 3 great religions in the world.


Be respectful and you shall be heard.