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No directive to stop issuing visas to Pakistanis: FM

Published : Wednesday, 22 May, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 726
Diplomatic Correspondent

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said no directive was issued to stop issuing visas to Pakistanis. He, however, said some particular persons
may not get visas.
Dr Momen said Pakistan is yet to grant visa to Bangladesh Counsellor (Consular) to resume his work in Bangladesh's Islamabad mission.
If the Counsellor (Consular) does not get visa and cannot go to Pakistan how visas will be processed, he told reporters at his office. "I don't know the reasons. I hope, they'll settle the pending (visa) matters." He said.
The Foreign Minister said this is not a big issue and certainly there is no scope to see any strain in relations between Dhaka and Islamabad. "We want friendly relations with all. We hope, the problems will be resolved."
The minister said some Bangladesh officers are not given visas.
Pakistan kept visa extension application submitted by Bangladesh diplomat Muhammad Iqbal Hossain, Counsellor (Press) at Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad, pending for over four months. "We have not stopped issuing visas to Pakistanis, but delays could happen in some cases which are common worldwide".
Momen said Bangladesh high commission in Islamabad was exposed to manpower shortage affecting the processing of visas as the Pakistan authorities was delaying in issuing visa for Bangladesh's newly appointed visa councilor in Islamabad.
Moreover, he said, Islamabad was not renewing the visa of the officer who was temporarily entrusted with the task of issuing visas.
"It is them (Islamabad) who exposed us to trouble . . . how could we issue visa unless we have our manpower to do that there," Momen said.
The minister, however, said Dhaka was unwilling to develop any hitch with Pakistan and "we earlier contacted and still communicating with them to resolve our pending visa issues of our diplomats".
Asked if there was any development over the acceptance of the credentials of Pakistan's proposed envoy in Dhaka, Momen said Bangladesh earlier did not accept the Islamabad proposal for some reasons.
"This is a quite normal phenomenon (in diplomatic arena), if they propose someone new, we will definitely consider it," he said.
Pakistan high commission does not have any envoy in Dhaka over a year.
 About the matter, the Foreign Minister said the government will consider it if Pakistan sends a new nomination.
The Foreign Minister also pointed out Pakistan's repeated interferences in Bangladesh's internal affairs centering the trial of war criminals for their crimes against humanity committed during the War of Liberation in 1971, which he said, Bangladesh did not like.

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