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India considering imposing visa restrictions on Pakistani applicants: report

NEW DELHI: As Pakistan handed Indian spy Kulbhushan Jhadav death sentence for espionage and inciting terror, India is considering to impose curbs on visas for Pakistani nationals visiting the neighbouring country, reported the Indian Express.

The Indian daily, citing its sources, said the authorities were quietly moving ahead with its plan with artists, singers and actors likely to be the first group to be singled out for maximum visibility and impact.

Spokesperson India’s Ministry for External Affairs Gopal Baglay yesterday resented that Government of Pakistan had denied over a dozen requests sent by the India seeking consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav – spy who was awarded death sentence in Pakistan.

Baglay claimed, ”Kulbhushan Jadhav has been falsely arrested in Pakistan. There are no proofs against him.”

Bagley, however, assured that the government of India will explore all options to bring Jadhav back.

About perceived visa restrictions, sources quoted bu the Indian Express said that although there have been no explicit instructions given to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, a “go-slow mode” is being activated.

Officials said the government was toying with the idea of placing a blanket ban, too. But sources acknowledged that this would be difficult to implement as there are many categories requiring humanitarian intervention, including patients and students.

New Delhi and Islamabad are still at loggerheads over the issue of diplomatic visas over the last six months. After diplomats from both sides were withdrawn last year, at least 10 diplomatic visas — for diplomats and diplomatic staff — are pending.

The newspaper quotes is sources as saying that the Indian government was exploring various diplomatic and non-diplomatic options “to corner Pakistan on the issue.” “We are exploring soft as well as hard options.”

 

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