No block on visas for Pakistanis, says Dhaka high commission

“Bangladesh has not stopped visas to Pakistani nationals,” the Bangladesh high commission told Arab News. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 23 May 2019
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No block on visas for Pakistanis, says Dhaka high commission

  • Says shortage of staff at embassy’s visa section made issuing visas “extremely difficult” in the last week
  • Bangladesh Mission in Karachi continues to issue visas, high commission adds

ISLAMABAD: The Bangladesh high commission in Islamabad said on Wednesday Dhaka had not stopped issuing visas to Pakistanis, following media reports of a fresh diplomatic spat between the two countries over the pending visa extension application of a Bangladeshi diplomat.
Media reported this week that the Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad had stopped issuing visas to Pakistanis in the last one week to protest the visa application of a Bangladeshi diplomat not getting clearance from the Pakistan government for the last four months.
According to The Daily Star newspaper, Muhammad Iqbal Hossain, Counsellor (Press) at the Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad, had submitted a visa extension application to Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry in January, which was subsequently sent to the Pakistani Interior Ministry. The application has still not been cleared, the newspaper reported. 
“Bangladesh has not stopped visas to Pakistani nationals,” the Bangladesh high commission told Arab News in a written response to questions. “There has been no visa officer at Bangladesh Mission in Islamabad since November 2018. Counsellor (Press) was doing additional duty of visa officer on temporary basis.”
Due to a shortage of staff at the Islamabad office, the issuance of visas had become particularly difficult over the last one week, the high commission said. 
“Now under order transfer to Dhaka, Counsellor (Press) is leaving Islamabad soon and passing preparation time,” the embassy’s statement said. “Issuance of visa has become extremely difficult due to absence of any officer at the visa section of Islamabad Mission.”
“Bangladesh Mission in Karachi continues to issue visas,” the embassy added. 
Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen also told reporters on Tuesday Bangladesh had not halted visas for Pakistanis. 
“We have not stopped issuing visas to Pakistanis, but delays could happen in some cases which are common worldwide,” he said during a press conference. 
Momen said the High Commission in Islamabad was going through staff shortage issues, which were affecting visa processing, adding that Pakistani authorities were delaying issuing a visa for Bangladesh’s newly appointed visa councilor in Islamabad.
East Pakistan broke away to become independent Bangladesh after a war between India and Pakistan in 1971. About three million people were killed and ties between Dhaka and Islamabad have been strained since. 
Relations became particularly tense in 2013 after Dhaka executed two opposition leaders for war crimes committed during the 1971 war to break away from Pakistan. Islamabad maintains the trials were flawed.


Pakistan welcomes UAE offer to deal with climate challenges

UAE ambassador to Pakistan Hamad Obaid Alzaabi met Advisor to the Prime Minister on climate change Malik Amin Aslam in his office to discuss issues related to climate change and the bilateral collaboration, on July 23, 2019. (UAE Embassy)
Updated 24 July 2019
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Pakistan welcomes UAE offer to deal with climate challenges

  • The country is at risk of high vulnerability regarding climate change-related calamities, PM's aide says.
  • Pakistan government has launched multiple initiatives to preserve the ecosystem and keep a low carbon footprint.

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on climate change Malik Amin Aslam welcomed the offer by United Arab Emirates to mitigate the challenge of climate change, the Ministry of Climate Change said in a statement.
The UAE ambassador to Pakistan, Hamad Obaid Alzaabi, met with Aslam at his office on Monday to discuss issues related to climate change and bilateral collaboration.
“Pakistan and UAE had similar notions to meet the global challenge of climate change,” the statement quoted the PM’s aide as saying. 
He also briefed the UAE envoy about the ongoing projects to tackle the impact of climate change.
“Pakistan’s Ecosystem Restoration Fund, Clean Green Programme and 10 Billion Tree Tsunami are commendable initiatives,” Alzaabi said.
The visiting envoy, on behalf of the government of UAE, invited the Prime Minister Imran Khan to participate in the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Development Week and Sheikh Zayed Sustainable Development Award next week.
Pakistan government launched the Clean Green Pakistan Movement on October, 8, 2018 in its bid to preserve the ecosystem and keep a low carbon footprint.
“Pakistan was at the risk of high vulnerability regarding climate change related calamities,” the ministry said as it highlighted the government’s initiatives on environmental and climate control.