US-Pak discussions on visa-related administrative issues underway: Foreign Ministry

April 8th, 2011 - 12:58 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, April 8(ANI): Pakistan and the United States are discussing the issue of visas to the US diplomatic staff posted in the country to resolve the matter that threatens to worsen their already-strained bilateral relations.

Pakistan and the US seem to be heading towards another diplomatic row after the Raymond Davis standoff that got resolved last month, as Islamabad has barred a number of American military men from leaving the country due to expired visas and other documentary irregularities.

When asked during a press briefing: “US officials in Pakistan have been bullying our government officials and staying in Pakistan without proper visa requirements. What does the government plan to do about it?” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tehmina Janjua replied: “There are ongoing discussions between Pakistan and the US Embassy regarding certain administrative issues relating to visas. We should not give too much attention to media reports on the matter.”

About the present status of US-Pak relations in the wake of the overstay of American officials with expired visas in the country, which has started a new row between both nations, Janjua said: “As regards the current status of Pakistan-US bilateral relations, both Pakistan and the US, and in the case of the US, President Obama himself has underscored that our relations are based on mutual respect, mutual interest and mutual trust.” “We believe that relations between Pakistan and the US, or between any other two countries should be based on principles. We are building our bilateral relations with the US on the principles of equality, respect, partnership, mutual interest and mutual trust. And Pakistan’s national interest would always remain foremost,” she added. Responding to a question as to how soon Islamabad could expect a trilateral meeting between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the USA, which was postponed due to the Raymond Davis case, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that talks were underway in this regard, but dates were yet to be finalised.”In the context of the report submitted to the Congress, we underscore the importance of engagement between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States so that we are on the same page to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan,” she said.

“Conversations are going on between Pakistan the United States with regard to discussions to take place in the context of the bilateral and the trilateral engagement. Details have not been yet worked out,” she added. (ANI)

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