The Pakistan Embassy in the United States on Wednesday rejected rumors that Pakistani-Americans are being denied visas to visit their homeland, stressing that all overseas Pakistanis are welcome to visit their motherland.
In a statement, the Embassy said it was addressing the rumors in light of a question asked during a regular press briefing of the U.S. State Department. “This is a misinformation and disinformation,” a spokesperson for the embassy clarified.
During a daily briefing on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department was questioned on a U.K.-based vlogger alleging that Pakistani-Americans were being denied visas to Pakistan due to their links to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). “I’m not aware,” responded U.S. State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel. “This obviously would be—if there were to any—be any issues that arise in this area, certainly would be something for Pakistani consular officials to speak to and not anything as it relates to the State Department, so we’ll just leave it at that,” he added.
In its statement, the Pakistan Embassy emphasized that Pakistani-Americans, and other overseas Pakistanis, were welcome to visit their motherland. “The embassy continues to provide every possible consular assistance, including visas, to them,” it said. “We encourage Pakistani-Americans to visit Pakistan either on their NICOP [National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis] or get visas, if they so desire, from the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington D.C. or from our four consulates general in New York, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles. Besides, visa requests are also processed online 24/7. Therefore, there should be no cause for concern,” it added.
During the State Department press briefing, Patel was also asked whether the U.S. Congress had asked the State Department to probe the cipher case that has led to legal proceedings against former prime minister Imran Khan. “We consult our congressional partners on a number of issues, we will not speak about something specifically, but we are continuing to monitor the situation closely,” he said.