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Closure of mission: In Ireland, thousands of Pakistanis left in the lurch

Discussion in 'Social & Current Events' started by Devil Soul, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Devil Soul

    Devil Soul ELITE MEMBER

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    Closure of mission: In Ireland, thousands of Pakistanis left in the lurch
    By Zahid Gishkori
    Published: January 6, 2014
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    Pakistani migrants protest against the closure of Pakistan’s Embassy in Dublin. PHOTO: DEPT OF JUSTICE, IRELAND

    ISLAMABAD:
    The closure of Pakistan’s diplomatic mission in Ireland has left thousands in the lurch as the Pakistani Diaspora in the country doesn’t know who to contact for visa-related issues.


    “One week has passed. We don’t know where to go. Dozens of families are still wondering which mission will resolve their visa-related issues,” says Umar Mehmood Khan, Member of the Ministerial Council Office for Promotion of Migrant, Department of Justice, Ireland.

    [​IMG]

    In a letter to The Express Tribune, Khan said that after the closure of Pakistan’s mission last week, more than 18,000 Pakistanis are stranded in Ireland.

    A big axe fell on foreign diplomatic missions when the government, as part of its austerity campaign, decided to close down missions in Ireland and Chile and eight commercial wings by abolishing dozens of posts of press attaches, labour officers and community welfare officers.

    “People have to travel with their families outside Ireland to get visas, which is a nightmare for the community,” Khan stated.

    He appealed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to reopen the embassy as the Pakistani community in Ireland deserved a small mission for visa facility. “We are ready to facilitate the government for this small embassy that can be managed in a cost-effective manner,” he toldThe Express Tribune by phone.

    Majority of Pakistanis living in Ireland are highly qualified and sent $125 million remittances this year which is the second largest annual remittances to Pakistan from any European country, he said.

    After establishing its embassy in Dublin in 2001, Pakistan closed its mission at a time when the Irish government is planning to open its embassy in Islamabad, said Meraj Abid, a senior broadcast journalist in Ireland.

    “If Pakistan does not reopen its embassy in Dublin, it will send a really negative signal to the international diplomatic circle,” he said.

    Ireland has supported Pakistan on several diplomatic platforms. Most recently it backed Pakistan in Brussels for European initiative of duty exemption, he added. After the 2005 devastating earthquake, Ireland provided around $7 million to Pakistan in relief aid, he recalled.

    The decision to close two missions in Chile and Ireland was taken on the recommendations of a special committee formed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam.

    “It’s a temporary closure. There will be some rationalisation in big foreign missions,” she toldThe Express Tribune. “It’s a part of austerity measures too,” she added.

    Responding to a question about the possibility of reopening these missions, she said it depended on Pakistan’s economic recovery.

    When contacted, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Ireland GR Malik did not comment on this issue. “Ambassador Sahib will come back to you soon,” said his Staff Officer Javaid. This is a small embassy where four to five persons, including Ambassador Malik and Admin Attaché Athar Qureshi were working, he explained.

    Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2014.
     
  2. saikumar

    saikumar BANNED

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    i feel sorry for them