FM raises visa issues of Pakistani Zaireen with Iraqi Ambassador

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APP06-19 ISLAMABAD: October 19 - Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi in a meeting with Iraqi Ambassador Dr. Ali Yasin Mohammed Karim at Foreign Office. APP photo by Saleem Rana

ISLAMABAD, Oct 19 (APP):Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday met the Ambassador of Iraq, Dr. Ali Yassin Mohammed Karim at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and raised with him the issues faced by Pakistani Zaireen in obtaining Iraqi visas for Arbaeen.
While appreciating the Iraqi government’s efforts in facilitating rising number of Zaireen from Pakistan, the foreign minister expressed concern over the reports of a large number of Pakistanis still waiting for issuance of Iraqi visas while Arbaeen was only ten days away, said a statement issued by Foreign Office.
Highlighting the inconvenience and disappointment faced by Ziareen, the foreign minister drew attention of the Ambassador to the fact that many of them travel by road and would not be able to perform ziarat this year due to inordinate delay.
The foreign minister stressed the need for urgent streamlining of the visa procedures and placing them on the Embassy’s website alongwith the list of authorized travel agents, for the convenience of visa applicants. He assured the Iraqi Ambassador of the full support and cooperation of the government of Pakistan in ensuring that all Zaireen retrun to Pakistan after performing Ziarat.
Dr. Ali Yassin Mohammed Karim assured the foreign minister of maximum cooperation and support of Embassy of Iraq in processing of all visa requests well within time and in a transparent manner. He also said that the backlog of visa applications for Arbaeen would be cleared within next few days, however, the applicants may ensure submission of complete applications.
It was also decided that a meeting of twelve registered tourist companies will be convened on Friday at Iraqi Embassy in the presence of Additional Secretary (Middle East) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to identify, discuss and resolve the visa problems of the zaireen.