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June 13, 2017

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Visa review after kidnap of Chinese

FOLLOWING the kidnap, and possible killing, of two Chinese citizens in the southwestern city of Quetta last month, Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar has directed the ministry to review, regulate and streamline the process of issuing visas to Chinese nationals.

Expressing his deep concern over the incident, Nisar said there was a need to review the process of issuing visas to Chinese nationals coming to Pakistan and to maintain a databank of Chinese staying in the country, according to a ministry statement.

It said Nisar ordered that the databank, which will be prepared by the national registration authority, should be shared with all security agencies. The statement was issued after Nisar chaired a high level meeting in Islamabad.

The meeting was held to review issuance of visas to Chinese and progress so far on the registration of international non-government organizations.

On the security of Chinese nationals inside the country, Nisar said ensuring the security of foreign nationals is a shared responsibility.

“Where the government makes every effort to provide security to foreigners, the visiting foreign nationals are equally bound to abide by the terms and conditions of their visas and inform local authorities about their movements and activities keeping in view the security requirements, if any,” he said.

He said it was “highly unfortunate” that a misuse of business visa terms contributed to the abduction of the two innocent Chinese.

Nisar said that all Pakistani missions are bound to undertake proper scrutiny of visa application forms and must get all necessary details before exercising their power of issuance of visas to foreign nationals.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Friday that China would continue to use various channels to gain and verify information about the reported killing of the two Chinese nationals kidnapped in Pakistan last month.

Hua Chunying said the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan had launched immediate emergency procedures and cooperated with the Pakistani side to rescue the two nationals.

However, Hua said the Pakistani side had provided China information that the two nationals were probably dead.


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