After border tension, India and Pakistan in visa row


After border tension, India and Pakistan in visa row

NEW DELHI: The acrimony over LoC exchange of fire spilled on to other areas with both India and Pakistan accusing each other of denying visas to diplomats.

While Pakistan has for some time maintained that India was delaying processing of visas to Pakistani officials and their family members, India hit back on Friday by saying Islamabad had delayed visas to 12 Indian officials, including to a naval attache.

Pakistan also approached United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to protest against " ceasefire violations" by Indian forces. India though doesn't recognise UNMOGIP since the 1972 Simla Agreement and maintains that the UN military group has no place in India. 

Pakistani sources here recalled how India had last month refused to issue visa to a Pak official saying he had terror links. "It is, unfortunately, the Indian side which links issuance of visa to everything else. Pakistan has recently issued several assignment visas to Indian officials but none were issued by India. Visas to our diplomats and officials including air and naval attaches are stuck with India now for many months," a Pakistani source said. "Even permission to diplomats and their families are not given for Jaipur, Ajmer and Agra. So much so that permission to our kids to proceed on trips organised and arranged by their respective schools are denied," he said. 

Countering Pakistan, government sources here said there are only five officials who have not been granted visas due to some issues. They also criticised Pakistani authorities for not issuing visa to an Indian yoga instructor to take part in the International Yoga Day celebrations organised by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. 

On its part, Pakistan said India "unhelpfully continues to link all other administrative aspects to the visa issue which is indeed regrettable and is lately behaving in most uncooperative way". 

The present row between the two countries comes amidst heightened tension along their border resulting in casualties on both sides following which India warned Pakistan of "effective and forceful" response to unprovoked firing and cross-border terrorism. 


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