The Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs which met on Wednesday with Senator Farooq Hamid Naek in the Chair at the Parliament House, directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to protest and raise the matter of violence and vandalism being done by Afghani spectators and hurling chairs at Pakistanis after the Pak-Afghan cricket match with Afghan Foreign Ministry as well as with the Embassy of Afghanistan, UAE authorities and revert to the committee with an updated report on the matter. The officials from the Ministry assured the panel of not letting off the aforementioned issue and will be taken up with the concerned authorities. The committee also decided that a resolution heeding the vandalism of Afghani spectators will be drafted and submitted to the Foreign Ministry.
Senators Saadia Abbasi, Tahir Bizinjo, Anwaar ul Haq Kakar, Moulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Faisal Javed, Walid Iqbal, Palwasha Muhammad Zai Khan participated in the meeting while Senator Danesh Kumar showed up as a mover. The Special Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Additional Secretary for Asia-pacific region, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other officials were also in attendance. The Chairman Committee showed discontent over the non- presence of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs as well as Foreign Secretary and directed the Ministry to ensure their presence in the upcoming meetings.
The Special Secretary enlightened the Senate body regarding the announcement of new travel conditions imposed on Pakistanis travelling to the UAE by the Pakistani Consulate in Dubai and the deportation of more than 80 Pakistanis from UAE. He said that the immigration authorities cited various reasons for their deportation, inter alia including the passengers holding visit visas and had dummy return tickets, they were unable to show enough money to sustain themselves in the UAE and that those passengers came to UAE for employment purposes, however, they were holding visit visas. The intervention and request conveyed by the consulate for entry of those holding Pakistani Passports and valid visas were denied because of the aforementioned reasons, adding that the new guidelines are not Pakistan-specific. As per the new guidelines Pakistanis must have a valid work visa, AED 5,000, and a return ticket when travelling to the UAE, he added further.
The Chairman Committee asked what action has been taken against those agents defaming the name of Pakistan. After talking out the matter, the committee sought a detailed report from the Ministry citing action being taken against the culprits and showed intent to call DG FIA in the next meeting.
Consideration of Starred Question No.3 asked by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed regarding the"number of countries visited by Prime Minister of Pakistan during the last three years in official capacity along with the names of persons, their designations and scale who accompanied the Prime Minister and the duration of stay abroad was deferred due to the non-presence of the mover.
On the subject pertaining to holding two passports by any person/officials at the same time, the Committee summoned DG immigration and the Ministry of Law in the next meeting to apprise the committee. As the Chairman Committee was of the view that as per the law a person can only keep one passport at the same time.
Consideration of Point of Public Importance raised by Senator Dr Asif Kirmani regarding the Pakistani students studying in China who cannot return to China due to Covid-19 restrictions by Chinese authorities was disposed of. The Senate Panel was informed that this matter was taken up with the Chinese authorities from time to time and that all the students have been returned to China in phases. The mover didn’t show up in today’s meeting.
Public Petition regarding "urgent Re-entry visa of Ms Umme Salma W/o Muhammad Khalid bearing CNIC No.38403-0303036-8 and passport number GJ750362 through Italian Embassy on Humanitarian grounds was also discussed in the meeting. The officials informed that the matter has been taken up with the Charge de Affairs, Italian Embassy in the recent meeting held with the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. The Ministry is working on the matter and assured of its resolution. The Committee directed the Ministry to apprise and update the committee in the next meeting on the matter.
The matter referred by the Hon’ble Chairman Senate raised by Senator Danesh Kumar regarding "breach of privilege being a member of the Upper House" was also taken up. The MOFA officials briefed the committee in detail and tendered an apology for the behaviour of the first secretary and Ambassador of Pakistan in Thailand, however, the committee after detailed deliberations termed the apology insufficient and decided to take up this issue in the next meeting of the committee for briefing and statement by the Minister.