US Refused Visas to 3 Officials: Pakistan Minister
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi confirmed that the US has imposed visa sanction on three senior government officials because of a row over repatriation of deportees, the media reported on Wednesday.
Qureshi on Tuesday told the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs that visa curbs had been applied by the US on the three officials of the Interior Ministry, reports Dawn news.
The sanctions have been put in place after a row between the two countries over deportation of dozens of Pakistanis, currently in the US, because of visa overstay and other allegations.
Qureshi said the US authorities intended to deport more than 70 Pakistanis, but the government had asked them to fulfil the legal requirements, Indo-Asian News Service reported.
The US has over the past 18 months deported over 100 Pakistanis, all of whom were accepted back. It is the first time that Pakistani authorities have insisted on a verification of the credentials of the deportees.
The Foreign Minister, however, clarified that there were no visa restrictions by the US government on Pakistani citizens in general.
Consular operations of the US embassy in Islamabad are continuing and are granting visas to the eligible applicants.