For the last seven months, there has been no visa officer at the high commission as the Pakistan government are dilly-dallying in issuing the visa to the appointed official in Bangladesh
The diplomatic tension between Bangladesh and Pakistan has intensified as the Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad stopped issuing visas to Pakistani citizens from last week.
“Issuance of any visa to Pakistani nationals remains suspended as the visa counter in Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad has been closed since last Monday [May 13],” Iqbal Hossain, counsellor (press) at Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad, told Dhaka Tribune from the Pakistani capital.
For the last seven months, the official said, there has been no visa officer at the high commission as the Pakistan government are dilly-dallying in issuing the visa to the appointed official in Bangladesh.
The Bangladeshi counsellor said they have informed the South Asia wing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pakistan.
“We cannot process any visa application until we get our visa officer here in Islamabad,” he added.
#BREAKING: Pakistan-Bangladesh diplomatic standoff escalates. Dhaka stops giving visa to Pak nationals after their diplomat was denied visa extension by Islamabad. Bangladeshi diplomat had applied for visa extension in January but Pak Interior ministry had refused to grant visa.— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) May 20, 2019
The whole situation reflects the deteriorating diplomatic relations between Dhaka and Islamabad.
Iqbal Hossain's visa expired in March 30, but it has not been extended yet. Despite repeated reminders, there has been no positive response from the Pakistan authorities so far.
The counsellor's wife and family have not been able to visit Pakistan, as Islamabad has not issued visa to them in the last six months.
In March 2018, Pakistan Foreign Ministry proposed Saqlain Syedah as its new high commissioner to Bangladesh. However, Bangladesh refused to accept Saqlain Syedah's “agreement” (documents related to proposal of nomination) as Pakistan high Commissioner.
Six months back, Bangladesh verbally notified Pakistan that it cannot accept Syedah's nomination, and asked for an alternative nomination.
Pakistan has not come up with any alternative nominations yet.
The spokesperson at Pakistan High Commission in Bangladesh could not be reached for his comments in this regard.