Washington: Two weeks after the Trump administration imposed visa sanctions on Pakistan, a special chartered plane will be bringing some 65 citizens deported by the United States.
All these individuals were detained and prosecuted for immigration violations, criminal conduct and other serious charges. The United States has arranged a special chartered plane to send these detainees back to Islamabad on Wednesday (tomorrow).
The decision to get these individuals back came on the heels of a warning issued late last month that the imposed visa sanction policy might also withhold visas of Pakistani senior officials and not just of ordinary travelers.
Pakistan was the latest to join the list of ten countries that are facing such sanctions under a law according to which countries refusing to take back deportees and visa over-stayers could be denied America visas.
Under Section 243 (d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the secretary of state is required to discontinue granting immigration or non-immigrant visas to a nation upon receiving notice from the Homeland Security Secretary that the country has denied or is unreasonably delaying accepting a citizen, subject, national or resident of that country.
The State Department had not clarified the extent of these sanctions, though it said that it was a bilateral issue of ongoing discussion between the two countries. A senior Pakistani official at the embassy here confirmed to The News that the discussion to resolve the matter was ongoing, but claimed that the reports of sanctions regime were misleading.
“Visa matters are dealt with on the basis of reciprocity,” the official said, adding that both countries remain engaged in talks to refine visa related policies. He said the situation was being monitored and had improved as a result of which Pakistan had revised its visa policy and included the United States in its list of countries whose businessmen can avail themselves of long-term visas and even on-arrival visa facilities.
The embassy official also said there were no such sanctions imposed, but the matter was about some individuals and after which both sides had clarified their positions and since have been in discussions to resolve the issue.