‘Decision to issue visas made solely by Pakistani embassy’

Published September 6, 2023
US State Department Spokesperson Vedant Patel addresses a press briefing on March 27. — AFP
US State Department Spokesperson Vedant Patel addresses a press briefing on March 27. — AFP

WASHINGTON: The US State Department has said it was up to the consular officials at the Pakistan Embassy to issue or reject a visa request by a US citizen, and it did not relate to them.

The issue was raised after recent media reports claimed the Pakistan Embassy had denied visas to US citizens of Pakistani origin because of their links to PTI.

The reports added that some US citizens were also detained in Pakistan for participating in political activities.

At a news briefing in Washington on Tuesday, the department’s Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel was asked if those US citizens whose visas were rejected approached the State Department.

State Dept spox refuses to specify if Congress has asked for probing cipher issue

“I am not aware of this. Obviously, if there are any issues that arise in this area, certainly it would be something for Pakistani consular officials to speak to and not anything that relates to the State Department.”

“We will just leave it at that,” said the US official when a reporter sought more clarification.

Mr Patel was also asked if the US Congress has asked the State Department to probe the cipher dispute that has initiated legal proceedings against former prime minister Imran Khan.

“We consult our congressional partners on a number of issues, We will not speak about something specifically, but we are continuing to monitor the situation closely,” replied the official.

At the briefing, another journalist asked Mr Patel if the US was helping those American citizens who have been subjected to house arrests in Iran.

“In any circumstances when an American citizen is detained or an American national is detained, we, of course, assess the situation for indicators that would be consistent with the wrongful detention designation,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Kindness needed
Updated 20 Jun, 2024

Kindness needed

This year’s World Refugee Day theme — solidarity with refugees — includes keeping our borders accessible and addressing the hurdles they face.
Fitch’s budget note
20 Jun, 2024

Fitch’s budget note

PAKISTAN’S ongoing economic crisis is multifaceted. At one end, the government must pursue stabilisation policies...
Cruelty to animals
20 Jun, 2024

Cruelty to animals

TWO recent incidents illustrate the immense cruelty many in this country subject voiceless animals to. In the first...
Price bombs
Updated 18 Jun, 2024

Price bombs

It just wants to take the easy route and enjoy the ride for however long it is in power.
Palestine’s plight
Updated 17 Jun, 2024

Palestine’s plight

While the faithful across the world are celebrating with their families, thousands of Palestinian children have either been orphaned, or themselves been killed by the Israeli aggressors.
Profiting off denied visas
Updated 19 Jun, 2024

Profiting off denied visas

The staggering rejection rates underscore systemic biases in the largely non-transparent visa approval process.