Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said that no directive was given to stop issuing visas for Pakistanis.
‘We have not stopped issuing visas to Pakistanis, but some delays could happen in some cases which are common worldwide’, said the foreign minister.AK Abdul Momen told it while addressing a press conference at the ministry in the capital following media reports that Bangladesh stopped issuing visas to Pakistanis.
The foreign minister said that Bangladesh high commission in Islamabad was exposed to manpower shortage affecting the processing of visas as the Pakistan authorities was delaying in issuing visa for Bangladesh’s newly appointed visa councilor in Islamabad.
‘Our high commissioner gave the task to another officer. But his visa also expired. Pakistan did not renew his visa either. It is them (Islamabad) who exposed us to trouble. How could we issue visa unless we have our manpower to do that there,’ Momen said.
The minister said, ‘we earlier contacted and still communicating with them (Pakistan) to resolve our pending visa issues of our diplomats’.
The issue came to fore as Pakistan kept visa extension application submitted by Bangladesh diplomat Muhammad Iqbal Hossain, Counselor (Press) at Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad, pending for over four months.
Asked whether it was retaliation for Bangladesh’s decision not to accept Pakistan’s proposed new high commissioner last year, the foreign minister said that it’s a non-issue in the sense that they sent a name as their candidate. Bangladesh could not accept that. So they will give another name. It’s a normal practice.