The United States (US) has dealt a fresh blow to Pakistan after the latter refused to take back its citizen deportees and visa defaulters (over-stayers) from America, warning that US may withhold the issuance of visas to Pakistani nationals beginning with its senior officials, reports The Indian Express.
This development makes Pakistan the tenth and latest entrant on the list of nations upon which the United States has imposed such sanctions under the Section 243 (d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which is a US law aimed at nations which refuse to take back deportees and visa overstayers.
“For some countries, sanctions begin by targeting officials who work in the ministries responsible for accepting the return of that country’s nationals with escalation scenarios that target family members of those officials and potentially officials of other ministries and then other categories of applicants if initial sanctions do not prove effective at encouraging greater cooperation on removals by the targeted government,” the Federal Register notification dated 223 April 2019 said.
Another related matter of significance is that eight of the ten nations have received these sanctions under the incumbent President Trump's administration, with Ghana and Pakistan having been included this very year. Other nations include Guyana (2001), Gambia (2016), Cambodia, Eritria, Guinea and Sierra Leone in 2017 and Burma and Laos in 2018.
“This measure will create hardship for Pakistanis who want or need to travel to the US and could have been avoided if Pakistani authorities had not ignored American requests to respect their legal requirements for deportation,” former Pakistani Ambassador to US, Hussain Haqqani told PTI.
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