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Pakistan visa applicants protest again, block road

12 Oct 2020 - 11:21
12 Oct 2020 - 11:21

KABUL visa and alleged middlemen and security forces asked people for money to obtain visa.

It was a second protest in less than a week against long delay, disorganized visa application system, irregularities at the Pakistani embassy and crowd of people waiting for days to get the visa of the neighbouring country.

Marina, a visa applicant standing in front of the main gate of Pakistan’s embassy, said she had been waiting for the past five days to get visa but she was unable to submit her application.

“Not only men, but women also come to the embassy as early as 2:00am to get spot in the queue but individuals who offer 5,000 to 20,000 afghanis get through easily,” she said.

Tahir, a resident of Sarobi district of Kabul, said his mother and two children were sick and they should travel to Pakistan after every three months, but due to the spread of coronavirus, he did not take them to Pakistan for treatment in the past seven months.

Mir Zaman, another visa applicant, said: “I came very early and got the first spot. Unfortunately, some individuals who came after me offered bribe and managed to submit their documents before me.” He showed the signs of torture on his body at the hands of police.

Pakistan Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansour Khan said until this time visas were only issued to students, sick people but from tomorrow Pakistan’s consulates in other cities would start issuing visas.

“We are opening full-fledged visas at Kabul and Consulates from tomorrow. I have personally directed my staff to increase number of visas being issued from our Missions. We will bring an improvement in the situation in coming days with liberalized visa policy and addition of more human resource on issuance of visas,” he said.

Kabul Police Spokesperson Faramarz Tamana said police had earlier arrested some visa agents and the issue was being probed.

He said police were not allowed to beat or torture common people, adding that if such incident happened, it should be shared with them for investigation.

Pakistan recently announced a new visa policy for Afghans to facilitate businessmen, sick people and students but the new visa policy is yet to enforced.

nh/ma

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