London, Nov. 10 (ANI): Labour peer Lord Ahmed has urged the UK Government to repay fees to Pakistani students who could not take admission in British universities due to visa delays.
The demand comes in the wake of a recent assurance from Home Secretary Alan Johnson that waiting times for visas for Pakistanis would be cut from two months to 15 days.
"How many Pakistani students have missed their university deadlines and have lost their fees and scholarships due to the backlogs and delays in Abu Dhabi? How many people are waiting for visa endorsements in Islamabad after winning their appeals in British courts in the last six months?" The News quoted Lord Ahmed, as saying at question time.
"Will the government refund fees for all the victims of our failure who have either missed their deadlines or medical check-ups, university courses, family weddings and professional jobs?" he added.
Home Office minister Lord West of Spithead admitted that there had been "delays in the visa operation in Pakistan, particularly in issuing visas, resulting from successful appeal decisions and some applicants have been inconvenienced as a result".
"There are 10,000 students currently studying in the UK and in the first nine months of this year just under 8,000 student visas were issued," he added. (ANI)