The US Quotes Pakistan Says ‘No’ to Visa Approval of Skilled Travelers

Pakistan says that the United Nations must vacate a UN seat because of its links with the Pakistan government. In a speech to the UN General Assembly, Mr. Zalmay Shah, Pakistan’s foreign minister, said that the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan John Sullivan had a personal meeting with the new Mullahs in Pakistan and it was decided to disrupt the peace talks between Pakistan and India. He said; ” ambassador had a meeting with Mullahs in Pakistan who promised to tear UN office and kill Indian staff members. It is very unfortunate that the United States of America is fully backing these terrorist groups which poses danger to the security of Kashmir and other Indian states.”

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A spokesperson for the U.S. said, ” ambassador’s meeting with the foreign minister of Pakistan undermined efforts by both countries to achieve stability and peace.” The spokesperson continued that there are limits on freedom and movement in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Earlier in the day, the United States had issued a statement deploring the attack on the UN office in Pakistan and called on all nations to immediately stop such incursions. Secretary Rice also condemned the attack. We call on all countries to immediately end violence and take immediate steps to restore peace and stability to the region.

According to The Hindu, Mr. Zalmay Shah, the finance and economic adviser to the PML-P, alleged that Mr. John Sullivan had told him that Mr. Musharraf was trying to manipulate the American diplomatic process by showing displeasure over the UN decision to strip Mr. Ban ki-Hai of his UN immunity. Mr. Shah claimed that Mr. Musharraf was upset at being omitted from the election for a cabinet position due to a leak of information to Pakistan media. He further alleged that Mr. Musharraf was unhappy with the way the UN treated him. He was quoted as saying, “PMI-P has always worked with India on economic and other issues, so I can understand why he might have been angry at the way the UN treated him.”

On the other hand, Mrs. Zalmay Shashi, the chief executive of PTI said, “PMI-P appreciates the efforts of the Indian government in establishing the dialogue with the United States regarding bilateral cooperation on the mutual interests of both our countries. Our common understanding and our commitment towards our historic and international obligations form the foundation of our political relationship. Our relationship is based on strong and profound diplomacy. Our government will not allow any hostile actions to come against Pakistan. It is very unfortunate that the United States has decided to withdraw its ambassadors without any discussion with our government or representatives. It is Pakistan’s stand that the United States has no right to decide things according to its convenience.

Meanwhile, the United States ambassador to Pakistan, Mr. John Kerry, has expressed regret over the incident and has assured that the United States deeply regrets the loss of the Indian consulate. Mr. Kerry further added that both the governments have conveyed to each other that they are committed to working through the problems to restore the situation. However, PTI chief Mr. Mian Muhammad Yousaf, who is addressing a rally in Baluchistan said, “PMI-P must give an explanation to the world about why it has suddenly stopped communicating with India. If it does not do so, it would be acting against the national interest of Pakistan.” He went on to add that if India is denied its access to the UN compound, it will have to look for other means to get to the UN.

The United Nations, on the other hand, has reacted strongly to the news. Spokesman Bridget Johnson said, “Rajan is in Pakistan. We expect to receive an explanation from him as soon as possible.” She added that the Permanent Mission of India to Pakistan has been notified and a visa on return will be looked into. India has conveyed to Pakistan that it had conveyed to the United States that it would like to see the situation rectified.

The Pakistani government has taken a negative view of this latest development and Foreign Minister Shah Maragar has spoken to Rajan and is planning to discuss the issue. He is expected to meet Rajan next week. However, sources say that there are high levels of tensions between India and Pakistan due to the Mumbai attacks which took place close to the Indian consulate. There is a feeling that if this was any other country, the consulate would have been closed but for the case of a friendly neighbor, the Indian government has shown restraint in reacting. Foreign Secretary John Kerry has assured that the United States will look into the incident and send in resources to help get the situation back under control.

If visa approved, it would be very difficult for Pakistani officials to expel the American citizens without informing the Americans. The Americans would also be very unlikely to expel a guest who had already obtained a visa from another country. Last year, a similar situation happened when an American man was expelled from Pakistan for six months because he had been allowed to enter India. It is always better to get things settled properly between two countries rather than to create further problems.

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