The United States has imposed sanction on Pakistan for refusing to take back its national visa overstayers and deportees from America, cautioning Washington may withhold Pakistanis visas, starting from senior-level officials.
The US state department said few consular operations in Islamabad remain “unchanged” for now but as an outcome of such US sanctions which was mentioned in a federal register notification, Washington has the power to withhold visas of Pakistani citizens and officials, according to news reports.
Pakistan has been now added up to a list of countries sanctioned by Washington under a US law, according to which nations refusing to take back its citizen deportees and visa overstayers will not be provided with American visas.
Under President Donald Trump administration, notably, eight nations have been slapped with such US sanctions. Pakistan and Ghana have made up to sanctioned list this year. The other countries include Guyana in 2001, the Gambia in 2016, Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea, and Sierra Leone in 2017, Burma and Laos in 2018.
Asked over federal register notification, a state department spokesperson said, “Consular operations in Pakistan remain unchanged,” adding, “This is a bilateral issue of ongoing discussion between the US and Pakistani governments and we are not going to get into the specifics at this time.”
A few days after federal register notification, dated April 22, ex-Pakistan envoy to America Hussain Haqqani said, “This measure will create hardship for Pakistanis who want or need to travel to the US and could have been avoided if Pakistani authorities had not ignored American requests to respect their legal requirements for deportation.” He asserted Islamabad’s refusal to accept its citizens’ deportees from the US is “not new”.