No change in visa policy for Pakistan, clarifies US embassy
The US embassy in Islamabad has clarified that the Trump administration’s visa policy towards Pakistan remains unchanged and that the reports about a change in US policy were only ‘rumours’.
According to a report in The Nation, a US embassy spokesman said in a televised interview on Thursday that Pakistan was not among the countries that could be added to the list of the banned countries.
“There have been no special instructions by the US administration (on visa change),” he added.
Last week, President Trump had issued an executive order banning visas for the citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The US President had also hinted that he could consider banning other countries, if necessary.
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus had also said earlier this week that US may extend visa ban to countries like Pakistan.
“You can point to other countries that have similar problems like Pakistan and others – perhaps we need to take it further,” Priebus said.
On Thursday, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria had said that bringing in a new visa policy was Washington’s sovereign right but he added that such decisions are not without humanitarian and political dimensions that need to be looked at and considered in going forward.”