Pakistan, US trying to resolve visa restriction issue

Islamabad: Pakistan and the US are working to resolve an issue that may lead to new visa restrictions on some Pakistani citizens if left unresolved, a media report said on Monday.
Media reports claimed on Saturday that the US had added Pakistan to a list of countries which face visa restrictions for refusing to take back their citizen deportees and visa overstayers, reports Dawn news.
The reports said that an official notification posted on the US Federal Register this week may lead to refusal of visas to those Pakistani officials who oversee the country’s policy for accepting deportees.
But the US Embassy in Islamabad on Sunday clarified that “consular operations in Pakistan remain normal and unchanged”.
In a statement posted on social media, the embassy said that “the matter noted in the Federal Register is a bilateral issue of ongoing discussions between the US and Pakistani governments. We are not going to get into the specifics of this issue”.
Pakistani officials told Dawn that Islamabad was “100 per cent committed” to taking back those deportees who were Pakistani citizens.
Over the last 18 months, the US has depor­ted more than 100 Pakistani citizens in two flights.
A third flight is scheduled to arrive in Pakistan sometime next month with 50 more deportees.

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