Monday, May 27, 2024

UAE suspends new visas for Pakistan: There’s more to it than Covid-19 though

The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday temporarily suspended the issuance of new visas to visitors from Pakistan and 11 other countries until further notice.

 The other countries that were hit by the UAE government’s fresh ban include Turkey, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Kenya, and Afghanistan.

Incidentally India, which enjoys an all-time high equation with UAE, is off the list of countries which are banned from visiting UAE.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office confirmed the news by stating that the UAE authorities have taken the decision due to the second wave of Covid-19. The Office spokesperson, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said, “We have learnt that the UAE has temporarily suspended the issuance of new visit visas until further announcement for 12 countries, including Pakistan,” adding that the Pakistan government is still waiting for the official confirmation from the UAE authorities in this matter.

However, there is no doubt that this is retaliation to Imran Khan’s Pakistan which has not liked the breakthrough diplomatic ties between UAE and Israel which happened recently.

Further, Pakistan has also grown close to Turkey in recent times which is at crosshairs with many a Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia and UAE.

The tell-tale signs have come in a torrent in recent times with Saudi Arabia demanding their debt be paid up by the Pakistan and the Gulf body, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) refusing to take up the Kashmir issue as desired by Pakistan.

NewsBred had foreseen this eventuality and had ran a story a few hours before this actual banning of visas to Pakistan by the UAE has taken place).

Besides UAE, Kuwait’s aviation also banned its commercial flights to Pakistan and other 30 countries as they were regarded as “high risk” countries.

Pakistan meanwhile is trying to soften the blow of UAE ban on visa, emphasizing that it has been necessitated by Covid-19 pandemic issues and as Chaudhri said, won’t apply to already issued visas.

It is still not confirmed which category of visa will be affected as the UAE has various categories for visa, including business, tourist, transit, and student.

The decision from the UAE comes amidst the rising number of cases in the country.

The number of infections is rising in Pakistan since last month. For nearly a week, Pakistan has recorded over 2,000 new cases. It has been declared that the country is witnessing the second wave of coronavirus.

 Earlier when in June when there was an upsurge in cases in Pakistan, UAE airline Emirates announced a temporary suspension of passenger services from Pakistan till July 3.

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