India And Pakistan In Visa Row, Diplomats And Officials Stuck

17/07/2015 5:18 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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At the end of the guard changing ceremony at the Pakistan-India border the respective flags are lowered.

NEW DELHI -- India and Pakistan were involved in 'visa war' today with both sides accusing each other of not issuing assignment visas to their diplomats and officials, amid the ongoing tension between the two countries over ceasefire violations along their border in Jammu and Kashmir.

While India maintained that Pakistan has not issued visas to its 12 officials including to a Naval attache, Pakistan said it has recently issued several assignment visas to Indian officials but none were issued by India.

"It is, unfortunately, the Indian side which links issuance of visa to everything else. Pakistan has recently issued several assignment visas to Indian officials but none were issued by India. Visas to our diplomats and officials including air and naval attaches are stuck with India now for many months," Pakistani sources said.

Countering Pakistan, government sources here said there are only five officials who have not been granted visas due to some issues. They also criticised Pakistani authorities for not issuing visa to an Indian yoga instructor to take part in International Yoga Day celebrations organised by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

On its part, Pakistan said India "unhelpfully continues to link all other administrative aspects to the visa issue which is indeed regrettable and is lately behaving in most uncooperative way".

The present row between the two countries comes amidst heightened tension along their border resulting in casualties on both sides following which India warned Pakistan of "effective and forceful" response to unprovoked firing and cross-border terrorism.

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