I HAVE been a resident of Dubai, UAE, since 2008 and work at a multinational company in a senior management position. I recently applied for a business visa to Indonesia for an official visit. I had the invitation letter from my company’s Indonesia office.

However, the officials at the Indonesian consulate general in Dubai informed me that it would take up to a month to know if my visa request has been accepted or rejected.

When asked about the reason why nationals of countries like Iran or India get visa on arrival and Pakistanis have to wait for so long without the surety for the visa issuance, the consulate employee replied that “your government needs to take it up with our government.”

While Pakistani expatriates are expected to serve Pakistan by sending remittances back home, the government doe not help them.

I have a right to ask the government why they are not approaching the foreign ministries of countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, etc., asking them to make the visa issuance for Pakistanis more lenient, especially for professionals like myself who have a permanent residency of the UAE and wish to travel on business but still suffer because we carry a green passport?

Should I act like many other Pakistani expatriates and acquire a new passport for the sake of carrying more respect abroad? I love my country, but the apathy of our government towards Pakistani expatriates is forcing me to give a serious consideration for getting a second passport.

NAME WITHHELD ON REQUEST Dubai


Do you have information you wish to share with Dawn.com? You can email our News Desk to share news tips, reports and general feedback. You can also email the Blog Desk if you have an opinion or narrative to share, or reach out to the Special Projects Desk to send us your Photos, or Videos.

More From This Section

Post-America Afghanistan

IN 2006 the US Geological Survey and the UK Geological Survey carried out extensive airborne magnetic, gravity and...

Ebola in Pakistan

IT HAS been almost two months since the ministry of health issued the warning on Ebola in Pakistan and now one...

The Indian peasant

IMRAN Khan is always telling the audience in his public addresses that the peasants in India enjoy special...

Comments (31) Closed




Syed Ahmed
Jul 16, 2012 04:31am
Our corrupt government officials and politicians have easy access all over the world, why should they worry about others. They are not here to serve people but to be served.
saein
Jul 16, 2012 11:12am
saein to saein, saein ka passport bhi saein
Aneez
Jul 16, 2012 05:08am
Exactly...It seems that no one wants Pakistanis in their country.The green passport is really a "Fail"port definitely not a passport.When Indonesia is supposed to be such a good friend then why this discrimination,Indians get visa on arrival
SHEHZAD
Jul 16, 2012 11:46am
All this discussion is useless, pakistani prime-minister said it on record: why don't you leave. So answer is clear from pakistani government GO AND SETTLE SOMEWHERE ELSE---NOT PAKISTAN.
Husain Jan
Jul 16, 2012 07:15am
Our ambassador in UAE or any other country can and should take up such issues to help pak residents. However, as widely believed - they - most of them are there on political grounds (sifarish) and so damn care about this matter or any thing to look after / solve the problems of his fellow pakistanis. It is thus clear that when our govt is not interested how its men can be expected to solve problems.
Sunny
Jul 16, 2012 03:55am
You are a Pakistani.That"s it! No further questions!!! World knows it, don:t pretend you don:t know.
tahir malik
Jul 16, 2012 04:44am
you are asking help from govt of pakistan? you need atleast be a vedera to do that?
ali ahmed
Jul 16, 2012 02:06pm
true
ali ahmed
Jul 16, 2012 02:10pm
our politician and officials only think how to make quick money....they have no time for pakistani people
Nono
Jul 16, 2012 02:18pm
You expats suffer becoz we dont like you having a good time. Jokes aside, our dilemma or better your dilemma is becoz of your elected government and the way they have handled the verious problems at home. Ergo: dont vote for them ever again, vote for Imran Khan.
Nirmal Singh
Jul 16, 2012 11:51am
If, with a Pakistani passport, you have problem getting visa for countries like Indonesia, believe me, you will not get a Dubai citizenship either.
Guest
Jul 16, 2012 11:49am
Have you raised voice against terrorist being nurtured and supported against other countries ever in Pakistan or abroad. The answer would be resounding no. We as countries and societies reap the rewards and suffer as well collectively for conscious decisions the nation or society takes over period of time. It is important to introspect and correct course in Pakistan before pointing fingers at the world and live in a victim mentality. Pakistani society has to realise that radicalisation and terror have a very high price tag.
Sam
Jul 16, 2012 07:54am
You must have already saved too much money in UAE (tax free).UAE is closer to Pakistan and its comfortable muslim environment.Why do you want to goto Indonesia or any country now?Life in western countries is indeed difficult,far from Pakistan and tax etc. but foreign passport is the lifelong reward.No risk no gain buddy.
malik
Jul 16, 2012 05:46am
Living in UAE you cannot get any other passport. Sorry.
Naeem
Jul 16, 2012 09:15am
Very unfortunate being a Pakistani, and same case when you intend to travel to Europe it takes 15 to 20 days even you have been traveled to Europe several times while other Asian countries people get their visa stamped withing couple of day.
Ali
Jul 16, 2012 06:26am
Very true.
Shadeslayer
Jul 16, 2012 06:27am
Two things my friend 1. these mullahs and tableeghi types who like the good lifestyle of west, but hate the values that helped create it bring a bad name to the country. Wanna live the "model Islamic life"? Stay in Pakistan, or better yet move to Afghanistan. 2. Our pathetic government. They are least bit concerned about welfare of Pakistanis living inside Pakistan, let alone outside. Apathy is the word.
Hamad Raza
Jul 16, 2012 06:53am
I would like to share my experience too. I was in the same situation I was working in UAE for a European Multinational Company. I was senior employee with management responsibilities of a Business Unit and whenever there is a business trip coming I had to wait for 15 days where as my other colleagues of South Asia were getting the visa within 24 hours. My Boss once just mentioned as a joke to change your passport and I said I will not do so. My views are changing with the passage of time. In my opinion the biggest loss that Pakistan can suffer is the faith and confidence of Pakistanis on their country. May Allah bless our country and guide the people who are/will be in power to do something good for our country.
Paksitani
Jul 16, 2012 06:57am
We (Pakistanis) are also suffering in Kuwait with the ban on all kind of visas for pakistanis the officials in Kuwait have one thing to say "let pakistani officials talk to us" But we (Pakitanis) have been left by our elected leaders to suffer
Syed
Jul 16, 2012 08:11am
I agree with the author
Jawwad
Jul 16, 2012 03:08pm
LOL, try getting an Indian Visa on Pakistani passport with US nationality. I have been waiting to hear from Embassy of India for over 6 months now.
Mohammad , Canada
Jul 16, 2012 03:39pm
Normally, Dubai (UAE) does not give nationality to any other country's national except UAE born to. UAE national.
Guru
Jul 16, 2012 03:45pm
Couple of years back, the Indonesians suspected a couple of Pakistani preachers, who departed the country a few days before the Bali bombings & hence the issue with visas. Pak society has to react decisively against the TJ type fellows, till then there is no redemption.
Cobrajock
Jul 16, 2012 03:53pm
While I respect your predicament over the visa issue. If you are willing to change passports for this petty matter, please dont waste any more time GO!
Taxla
Jul 16, 2012 04:56pm
Allah does not help those who do not help themselves. People wanted democracy, they got it, good or bad now live with it and try change it at next upcoming elections. Good Luck.
Capt Mansur
Jul 16, 2012 04:59pm
i agree with Shadeslayer. Maybe the author himself is a support of the mullah and Tableeghees. Maybe now he and the world realises the price tag of Extremism/Nepotism/Mismanagment/Corruption/Fanatism and so on what we pakistanis are famous for.
cameo
Jul 16, 2012 06:56pm
I travel to turkey quite a bit and they have a relatively favorable system where if you have a valid visa of UK, US or any other EU country they give you the visa on the airport.
Anonymous
Jul 17, 2012 01:07pm
Second time visit visa arranged by an agent base in Jakarta less than a week and for sure you guys will be shock to knowing the service charges US$ 800 paid for arranging telex approval under my wife sponsorship that never went to Jakarta and didn’t attend any personal interview. Yes, what a corrupt almost all Asian countries!!! My personal feelings I’m NOT enough to change this corrupt system and I could try but I love her more everyday and she’s PRICELESS. Money is making ways in Asian countries and this is my personal experience many times…what about urs???
Anonymous
Jul 17, 2012 01:06pm
With sadness in my heart, I can say that we are the victim of our country IMAGE. Well, as I know by my personal experience some of specific countries included Pakistani passport holder wish to visit Indonesia is requested to get “approval entry / telex visa” from Indonesian immigration head office in Jakarta before traveling and processing telex visa would need a sponsorship (for facing personal interview in Jakarta) from Indonesia but still need two months for approval or rejection. First time I have been visited to Indonesia on February, 2011 and faced very hard time in order to arrange visit visa for Indonesia even I was held by the immigration officer for special clarifications in Indonesia airport (Medan airport).
J.S.Hussain
Jul 16, 2012 09:09pm
How true!
Bilal
Jul 16, 2012 11:47pm
Why is this a surprise at all? First of all matters like these are nowhere on govt priority list if they have one at all. Second we have no one but ourselves to blame for this. Bad things happen whereever we go, it's a sad fact.