White House voices concern over delay by Pakistan in issuing visas to US officers

Posted By: Staff
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Washington, Jan. 13 (ANI): The White House has expressed concern over the continued delay by Pakistani authorities in issuing and extending visas for hundreds of US officials and contractors.

"I think it remains an issue of concern that we are continuing to talk to the Government of Pakistan about," The Nation quoted Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs PJ Crowley, as saying.

In the recent weeks, US diplomats have been complaining about alleged harassment in Pakistan that include refusal to issue new visas or extend approved visas for more than 100 American officials.

Last month, the US State Department said the issue was being taken up at the highest level, as the issue was 'very serious' and it could hamper aid programmes and further strain a critical alliance in the fight against extremism.

"This is big. It's not minor. The fact that we are pushing very hard and at very senior levels tells you the importance we place on it," US State Department spokesman Robert Wood had said.

Pakistani officials, however, denied allegations that staff members of the US mission to Pakistan were being harassed.

Abdul Basit, spokesman for Pakistani Foreign Office, denied harassment of US officials, but added that there were some issues which need to be discussed. (ANI)

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