Update: According to the official statement from the Dutch embassy, the embassy was closed since 9th November 2018 due to some construction work. According to media reports, Dutch officials claim that the embassy has not been closed, however, the visa application process has been halted and Dutch citizens cannot renew their passports for now. The rest of the statement is as follows:
Due to circumstances beyond our control, the issuing of visa has been halted temporarily.
As soon as this situation is solved, appointments for visa applications can be made through the visa application centers of VFS Global in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.
The Netherlands embassy in Islamabad is currently also unable to receive applications for Dutch passports or other consular services.
The original story is shown below…
Officials from the Netherlands foreign office have announced that the country’s embassy in Pakistan’s federal capital, Islamabad is being closed down due to security reasons, confirm media reports.
All the interviews for visa applications have also been postponed until further notification. Henceforth, no visa applications from Pakistan will be entertained by the embassy.
A government source from the interior ministry, under the condition of anonymity, stated that the decision was taken due to the prevailing security uncertainties following the Supreme Court’s verdict on Asia Bibi’s case.
He added that the closure is temporary but for an unknown period of time.
It should be mentioned here that the Supreme Court of Pakistan, on October 31, acquitted Asia Bibi in a 10-year-old blasphemy case in which she had been awarded the death penalty by the lower courts.
The decision had caused violent protests across the country which brought Pakistan to a grinding halt for a couple of days.
Following the protests, the government made a deal with the protesters and assured that it would place Asia’s name on Exit Control List (ECL) and won’t let her fly out until the apex court gives its verdict on the review petition filed by one of the protesters.
On November 8, Asia Bibi was released from jail and was shifted to Islamabad.
There were reports that the Dutch government was interested in providing an honorary citizenship to Asia. However, there was no confirmation either from Pakistan or the Dutch government.
The original story and headline were updated to better reflect the Dutch embassy’s official response.