ISLAMABAD: US authorities have refused a visa to the Senate’s deputy chairman, weeks after the new US President Donald Trump announced travel curbs on seven Muslim-majority countries.
Abdul Ghafoor Haidri, the deputy chairman of the upper house, was scheduled to head a two-member delegation to a meeting of the Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU) at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
The meeting is being held on February 13 and 14.
Senator Lt General (retd) Salahuddin Tirmizi – who was to accompany the deputy chairman – was granted a visa just two days before.
However, the visa of Haidri was put on hold in what can be termed a technical refusal, sources said.
Senate Secretariat had applied for official visas for the two senators two weeks ago.
They said when the Senate Secretariat checked with the US Embassy about the status of Haidri’s passport through official channels, it was told that the US authorities would get back to it by Tuesday (February 14), clearly meaning that Haidri could not travel to the US to attend the IPU conference.
“It is a technical refusal,” a top Senate official said.
In its official statement earlier in the day, the Senate Secretariat claimed that there was a delay in issuance of visa to the deputy chairman and the Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani had taken notice of the issue.
Rabbani in a prompt reaction issued directives to his secretariat not to entertain any US delegation or diplomat till the issue was resolved