Pakistan Orders a Complete Ban of Visa Issuance to Afghan Nationals

The Foreign Ministry of Pakistan in a letter sent to all its embassies in European Union countries has ordered a complete visa ban for Afghan nationals/origins, effective from February 8.

The Pakistan Foreign Ministry relates this decision to the issuance of 1600 visas to Afghans origins who had provided fake Swedish residence cards.

A formal letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan which went viral on social media last week indicates that Pakistan Embassy in Sweden had granted 1600 to Afghan citizens based on fake residence cards. The foreign ministry has ordered an immediate investigation regarding this scandal.

The letter was issued on February 8 and recently went viral on social media. The letter was addressed Pakistan Diplomatic Mission in European cities including London, Glasgow, Bradford, Manchester, Birmingham, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Milan, Berlin, Frankfort, Lisbon, Athens, Vienna, Berne, Copenhagen, Oslo, Brussels, The and Hague.

It is still not clear how long the ban will be in place as the investigations over the 1600 issued visas have already begun, and the issuance of visas is banned until further notice.

The latest decision by the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan has negatively affected Afghan nationals currently residing in Pakistan. Their family members in Europe cannot come to visit them in Pakistan due to the imposed visa ban, and it has disrupted their personal plans, said one Afghan national in Islamabad.

Since the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Pakistani government has limited the issuance of visas to Afghan nationals to a great extent.