The Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad has denied media reports of not issuing visas to Pakistani nationals amid a diplomatic spat between the two countries.
A few days ago, reports started circulating that the Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad has stopped issuing visas to Pakistanis for over a week to protest the delay in the visa renewal of a Bangladeshi diplomat.
As per the details, Muhammad Iqbal Hossain, Counsellor (Press) at the Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad had submitted a visa extension application to Pakistan’s Foreign Office in January. The Foreign Office had sent it to the Interior Ministry. However, the application still hasn’t been cleared.
In a recent turn of events, the Bangladesh High Commission has rejected the media reports, saying they have not stopped issuing visas to Pakistani nationals.
“There has been no visa officer at Bangladesh Mission in Islamabad since November 2018. Counselor (Press) was doing the additional duty of visa officer on a temporary basis,” it stated.
The high commission further added that due to the shortage of staff at the Islamabad office, processing of visas has become difficult over the last week.
The statement reads,
Now, under order transfer to Dhaka, Counsellor (Press) is leaving Islamabad soon and passing preparation time. Issuance of visa has become extremely difficult due to the absence of any officer at the visa section of Islamabad Mission.
The embassy further added that the Bangladesh Mission in Karachi is still issuing visas.
Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has also said that visas to Pakistanis are not halted. “We have not stopped issuing visas to Pakistanis, but delays could happen in some cases which are common worldwide,” said the foreign minister in a press conference.