Wed, 17 Jul 2019

Islamabad [Pakistan], May 15 (ANI): Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the United States imposed visa restrictions on three senior Pakistani interior ministry officials because of a row over the repatriation of deportees.

Qureshi on Tuesday told the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs that visa curbs had been applied by the US on three officials of the Interior Ministry, Dawn reported.

The officials who are facing visa restrictions include an additional secretary and a joint secretary of the interior ministry, as well as the director general passports.

The sanctions have been put in place after a row between the two countries over the 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 legal requirements.

The US has over the past 18 months deported over 100 Pakistanis, all of whom were accepted back. It is the first time Pakistani authorities have insisted on verification of 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 functional and visas are being granted to eligible applicants, Qureshi said. (ANI)

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