Pak Govt silent on number of visas issued to Americans

April 22nd, 2011 - 5:09 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, April 22(ANI): The Pakistan Government has failed to provide information to the National Assembly on the number of visas issued to Americans over the last three years by the Pakistan Embassy in Washington.

In reply to an ‘unstarred’ question put up by Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) politician Malik Shakir Bashir Awan, the newly-appointed State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar, provided a detailed written reply on the number of visas issued to foreigners throughout the world, but was silent on the number of Americans who visited Pakistan between January 1, 2008, and March 1, 2011.

As questions of unstarred category are not taken up for open discussion in the House, the sketchy answers went unnoticed, the Dawn reports.

Awan sought information about the number and names of the foreigners who had been issued Pakistani visas between the concerned period, along with the purpose of their visits and periods of their visas.

When asked to explain the omission, Khar said: “I have not seen this particular question.”

She expressed surprise over the missing required information about Americans,saying that the question must have been approved while she was abroad, and added: “The mechanism for issuance of visas for all foreigners is the same.”

She advised the NA members to get in touch with Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tehmina Janjua for information on the status of visas issued to Americans.

However, Janjua could not be contacted since she is currently in Washington as part of a Pakistani delegation for strategic dialogue in the United States. (ANI)

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