Pakistan Observer

Who issued visas to UN team?

Thursday, September 13, 2012 - THE two-member team of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances has started meetings with the relevant people and it is understood that it is scheduled to meet many more including civil society individuals and organizations before concluding its visit. But there are several unanswered questions about the nature of the visit and its authorization and it would be in the fitness of things if the authorities concerned satisfy people on this account.

Though the official circles have repeated claimed that the visit is taking place at the invitation of the Government of Pakistan but media reports that the top leadership and officials have declined to meet the team expose veracity of such claims. Then the question arises who issued visas to the team member and on whose directions? This is very pertinent because in the past as well hundreds of visas were issued over and above the normal practice and bypassing procedural and technical requirements as a consequence of which an unaccounted number of Raymond Davises crept into Pakistan and no one knows how many of them are still there under the garb of different entities and contractors. It is also rightly being asked whether or not the authorities and departments concerned fully went through pros and cons of the visit of the UN officials. There are concerns that in the backdrop of geo-political situation of the region and the globe, the outcome might not be in the interest of Pakistan because of proven prejudices and propaganda campaign unleashed by some vested interests. The Chief Justice of Pakistan has done well in declining to meet the group members as the case is subjudice. A meeting with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has already taken place and hopefully she might have presented facts and figures in a persuasive manner. We hope that other officials with whom the group would meet in coming days would also brief it in right perspective so as to rebut the negative propaganda in this regard.
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