ISLAMABAD: There was no official announcement about the suspension of visas for Pakistani citizens by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
Last month, UAE stopped issuing new visas to citizens of 13 mostly Muslim-majority countries including Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran, and Syria.
A source briefed on the matter told Reuters the visas had temporarily stopped being issued to Afghans, Pakistanis, and citizens of several other countries over security concerns, but did not provide details of those concerns.”.
During a weekly media briefing in Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri assured that the foreign minister met the UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation on the sidelines of the 47th OIC CFM and raised this issue and that the ministry is making concerted efforts to address the situation.
“We understand that these restrictions only apply to visit visas and not to the renewal of existing visas. We are in touch with the UAE authorities both in Abu Dhabi and Islamabad,” he maintained.
Since the Gulf country has not publicly given any reason for the ban, at the time the Foreign Office spokesperson had said that it could be related to the existing pandemic.
Concern over Israeli settlement
Expressing “serious concern” over Israel’s opening of the bidding process for the construction of new settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, the official said: “Pakistan condemns this Israeli decision which is illegal under the international law and the relevant UN Resolutions.”
He went on to add that Pakistan steadfastly supports the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and reiterates its consistent, clear, and unambiguous position – for just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
It is imperative to have a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions, with the pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian State,” the spokesperson added.
Pakistan looks forward to working with new US administration
Pakistan has not yet decided who will represent it at the inauguration of US President-elect Joseph Biden.
“We look forward to working with the new administration to further strengthen our bilateral ties and continue our partnership to achieve peace, stability, and prosperity in the region. We would also welcome resumption of structured dialogue with the US,” he said.
Pakistan expects that the new US administration would also take notice of the ongoing grave humanitarian situation and willful defiance of international law, democratic norms, and human rights obligations by India in India Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist
Moreover, the spokesperson condemned the assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in Tehran.
“Such acts not only run contrary to all norms of interstate relations and International Law but also threaten peace and stability in an already fragile region,” he lamented.
Urging all sides to exercise maximum restraint and avoid further escalation of tensions in the region, the foreign office said that the reduction in tensions is essential for regional peace and security,.