Bangladesh consular officer yet to get visa to resume work in Islamabad mission
Foreign Minister Abdul Momen on Tuesday said no directive has been given to stop issuing visas to Pakistanis.
On the other hand, Pakistan is yet to grant a visa to a Bangladeshi consular officer to resume his work in the country's Islamabad mission.
"No directive was given to stop issuing visas to Pakistanis. But, some particular persons may not get visas," he told reporters at his office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dhaka, reports UNB.
The foreign minister said if the counsellor (consular) does not get his visa, then “how can he go to Pakistan to process visas?”
"I do not know the reasons. I hope, they will settle the pending [visa] matters," said Momen.
Momen said it is not a big issue and certainly, there is no scope of straining relations between Dhaka and Islamabad.
"We want friendly relations with all. We hope the problems will be resolved," he said.
The minister said they need to look at how to fix the "sudden gap" that has emerged, and shared that some Bangladeshi officers are not given visas.
The post of visa officer in Islamabad has remained vacant since November.
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Meanwhile, a diplomat in the Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad said Pakistan has kept hanging for over four months a visa extension application by Muhammad Iqbal Hossain, counsellor (press), who was looking after the consular section as an additional charge.
"As a sign of protest, he [Iqbal] has stopped issuing visas to Pakistanis for the last one week," the diplomat told UNB on Monday, adding that it is not an official suspension.
Iqbal submitted his application to Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on January 9 which was then sent to the Ministry of Interior two days later, but there has been no positive response so far, the diplomat added.
Iqbal's visa expired on March 30. He is now living in Islamabad with his daughter, while his wife and son are in Dhaka. They have applied for visas at the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka, but the visas have not been granted yet.
There have been a series of meetings and exchange of letters, but all efforts went in vain, said a diplomatic source.
Earlier, the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs had reportedly proposed Saqlain Syedah as its new High Commissioner to Bangladesh in March last year, which was rejected by Dhaka.
Regarding the matter, Momen said that the government will consider it if Pakistan sends a new nomination.
The foreign minister also pointed out that Bangladesh did not like Pakistan's repeated interferences in the country's internal affairs over the trial of war criminals, for their crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 Liberation War.