The United Arab Emirates on November 18 temporarily suspended the issuance of new visas to visitors from Pakistan and 11 other countries until further notice, the Foreign Office said.
The decision by the UAE authorities is “believed to be related to the second wave of COVID-19,” Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said in a statement.
“We have learnt that the UAE has temporarily suspended the issuance of new visit visas until further announcement for 12 countries, including Pakistan,” he said, adding that the government is seeking official confirmation from the UAE authorities in this matter.
However, the suspension would not apply on already issued visas, the Foreign Office said. It was not immediately clear how many categories of visas would be affected by the suspension.
The UAE has various visa categories, including business, tourist, transit and student.
The other countries hit by the UAE government’s fresh visa directives include Turkey, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Kenya and Afghanistan.
In June, when cases in Pakistan were on the rise, UAE airline Emirates had announced temporary suspension of passenger services from Pakistan till July 3. The decision came after around 30 Pakistanis who arrived in Hong Kong on board an Emirates flight tested positive for the virus.
The airline resumed its flights in July, the Dawn News reported. In August, Kuwait’s aviation banned commercial flights to Pakistan and 30 other countries regarded as ‘high risk’ due to the spread of the coronavirus.
The number of infections has been rising in Pakistan since late October and authorities have declared that the country was witnessing the second wave of COVID-19. The positivity rate of the disease has increased, especially in major cities including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Faisalabad and Hyderabad.
On November 16, Prime Minister Imran Khan had urged the people to “act as a nation” in order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has so far infected 3,63,380 people and claimed 7,230 lives in the country.
SC says: Delhi Police will decide to enter farmers in Delhi.
The Supreme Court on Monday told the Centre that it is for the Delhi Police to decide whether to allow farmers to enter Delhi or not. The top court stressed that it is the Delhi Police who have the authority over the issue and not the Supreme Court.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde said “we have not taken charge of the matter except one issue…apparently our intervention has been grossly misunderstood. We are not going to tell you about your powers.”
The observation from the top court came after the Attorney General K.K. Venugopal said the Centre is seeking restraint orders against farmers from entering Delhi as court has taken charge of the matter.
The Chief Justice said it is not for the court to decide how many farmers should be allowed in the city and the nature of conditions to be imposed on them.
The top court insisted that Delhi Police are the only authority to decide it and not the court.
Advocate A.P. Singh counsel for Bhartiya Kisan Union (Lokshakti) submitted that farmers were willing to hold peaceful protest at Ram Lila Maidan.
The Chief Justice replied: “Who should be allowed and who not, and number of people will be dealt by the police. We cannot be first authority to deal with it.”
The Delhi Police have moved the top court seeking direction to restrain farmer unions from conducting tractor rally as a method to disrupt the Republic Day celebrations.
The AG insisted before the top court to issue directions to restrain farmers from disrupting the Republic Day parade, the Chief Justice replied “Does the Union of India want the Supreme Court to tell that you have powers under the Delhi Police Act.”
The top court will conduct further hearing on the matter on Wednesday.