UAE to resume visa services for Pakistanis next month — PM’s adviser

The prime minister’s special assistant on overseas Pakistanis, Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, meets with UAE Human Resources and Emiratization Minister Nasser bin Thani Al-Hamli in Dubai on July 23, 2020. (Photo courtesy: Sayed Z. Bukhari)
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Updated 24 July 2020

UAE to resume visa services for Pakistanis next month — PM’s adviser

  • Pakistani PM’s special assistant is in UAE to discuss with Emirati officials the situation of Pakistani workers in the Gulf state’s post-COVID-19 labor market
  • He appealed to overseas Pakistanis to avail of the grace period given by the UAE to extend the validity of all types visas by Aug. 17

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates is going to resume visit visa services for Pakistani citizens on Aug. 1, the prime minister’s special assistant on overseas Pakistanis, Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari, said in a press conference in Dubai on Thursday.
Bukhari is currently on a visit to the UAE to discuss with Emirati officials the situation of Pakistani workers in the Gulf state’s labor market, which emerging from a coronavirus standstill.
“We had a meeting today with a senior UAE official and he has given us hope that the UAE will fully open for tourism starting Aug. 1 and visas for Pakistanis will also be included in this,” Bukhari said in response to question by Arab News.
He appealed to overseas Pakistanis to avail of the grace period given by the UAE government to extend the validity of all types visas by Aug. 17. “Those who want to leave the country can do so by Aug. 17 without being fined,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the Pakistani prime minister’s aide met with UAE Human Resources and Emiratization Minister Nasser bin Thani Al-Hamli to discuss issues related to Pakistanis residing in the Emirates.
“Among other issues discussed with the minister, we also discussed the availability of jobs for Pakistanis in UAE,” Bukhari said, adding that since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, around 36,000 Pakistanis in the UAE had been laid off and were returning home.
“This is not a big number if you compare it with the population size here which is 1.7 million,” he said.
The news of visit visa services was welcomed by Pakistani expats.
Hameed Raza, 32, an IT professional based in Dubai, said that a close relative had been offered a job in the UAE, but could not come due to delays in visa services.
“Since the UAE has opened up to everyone, it is only fair that visas are also issued to Pakistanis. My cousin has been offered an opportunity here and he wants to come over for a visit but has not been able to until now,” Hameed said, adding that Bukhari’s announcement brought relief.
Sarfaraz Ahmed Ansari, 45, a marketing manager with a Dubai-based firm, said he would finally be able to see his family. “My family, who are in Islamabad, have been waiting for me to bring them to the UAE, but because of the pandemic and now the ban on visit visas for Pakistanis, this has been impossible. I too cannot travel for some reasons and it’s been many months since I have seen them. Now I will apply as soon as this announcement is made official.”


Pakistan says Israel-UAE agreement will have 'far-reaching implications'

Updated 14 August 2020

Pakistan says Israel-UAE agreement will have 'far-reaching implications'

  • The country’s foreign office noted that peace in the Middle East was Islamabad’s key priority
  • Pakistan 'has an abiding commitment to the full realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people' – FO

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday described the normalization process between the United Arab Emirates and Israel as a development with significant consequences for the region. 

“We have noted the Joint Statement announcing agreement of UAE and Israel to have full normalization of relations,” the new foreign office spokesman, Zahid Hafeez, said in a statement while responding to an Arab News query. “This is a development with far-reaching implications.” 

The UAE and Israel announced their decision to normalize diplomatic ties and build a more functional relationship on Thursday. The peace deal was facilitated by United States President Donald Trump who described it as a “huge breakthrough” and a “historical peace agreement.” 

Responding to the development, Pakistan said it had an abiding commitment to the full realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination. 

“Peace and stability in the Middle East region are also Pakistan’s key priority,” the statement said, adding that for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace, Pakistan had consistently advocated a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant United Nations and Organization of Islamic Cooperation resolutions. 

While the deal was made after Israel decided to suspend its planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, it surprised Palestinian leaders and prompted President Mahmoud Abbas to demand an urgent Arab League meeting. 

Reading a statement outside the presidential office in Ramallah, Abbas’s senior adviser Nabil Abu Rudeinah said: “The Palestinian leadership rejects and denounces the surprising UAE-Israeli-US trilateral announcement.” 

He also termed the development as a “betrayal of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian cause.” 

Meanwhile, Pakistan, which has been striving to protect the rights of Kashmiris in the region, said its approach would be guided by its “evaluation of how Palestinians’ rights and aspirations are upheld and how regional peace, security and stability are preserved” by the deal.