Big diplomatic setback for Pakistan as US imposes visa curbs on senior officials

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In a major diplomatic standoff between the two countries, the US has imposed visa sanctions on three senior Pakistani interior ministry officials. The stern action has been taken following a row between the two countries over deportation of dozens of Pakistanis in America for their visa overstay and other allegations.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday informed the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs about that visa curbs by the US. The officials who are facing the visa restrictions are an additional secretary and a joint secretary of the interior ministry as well as the director general passports, the Dawn newspaper reported.

Qureshi said the US authorities intended to deport more than 70 Pakistanis, but the government had asked them to fulfil the legal requirements.

The US has over the past 18 months deported over 100 Pakistanis, all of whom were accepted back. It is the first time that Pakistani authorities have insisted on a verification of the credentials of the deportees.

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