By SM Najmus Sakib
Dhaka, Bangladesh (AA) – In a fresh diplomatic row, Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad has stopped issuing visas to Pakistani nationals, an officials told local media on Tuesday.
The decision comes in retaliation to Pakistan’s decision to deny visa extension to Counsellor (Press) Muhammad Iqbal Hossain, posted at the Bangladeshi mission in Islamabad.
“Issuance of any visa to Pakistani nationals remains suspended as the visa counter in Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad has been closed since last Monday [May 13],” local newspaper, the Dhaka Tribune quoting Iqbal Hossain said on Tuesday.
“We cannot process any visa application until we get our visa officer here in Islamabad,” he added.
Pakistani authorities had been sitting on his official visa renewal application for the past four months. Hossain’s visa expired on March 30.
He is living in Islamabad with his daughter, while his wife and son are residing in Dhaka.
The diplomatic row between the two countries intensified when Dhaka refused to accept the nomination of the new high commissioner of Pakistan to Bangladesh. In March 2018, Pakistan Foreign Ministry had proposed Saqlain Syedah as its new high commissioner.
Six months later, Bangladesh notified Pakistan that it cannot accept Syedah's nomination, and asked for an alternative nomination. Pakistan, however, has not responded to the notification.
Both countries have been engaged through diplomatic channels, to resolve the crisis. But so far the efforts eluded any positive result.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign ministry spokesperson Mohammad Faisal could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts.