Thursday, 30 June, 2022
HomeGo To Pakistan176 Pakistani pilgrims await visa approval from India as Urs begins today

176 Pakistani pilgrims await visa approval from India as Urs begins today

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Here’s what is happening across the border: As Pakistan gets grey listed by anti-terror financing body, former PM Abbasi disqualified from contesting polls.

Pilgrims yet to receive visa approval from India

With events to mark Urs (death anniversary) of Hazrat Amir Khusro set to begin in New Delhi Thursday, the Indian government is yet to issue visas to 176 Pakistani pilgrims. The Express Tribune reported that the Indian High Commission has kept the foreign office and Ministry of Religious Affairs waiting on the status of the visa applications.

The pilgrims, however, have already reached Lahore and are waiting to board the Samjhauta Express that connects Lahore with Delhi. The Pakistan High Commission in Delhi is believed to have already warned pilgrims that they shouldn’t take the train unless they get formal approval.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony had submitted passports of prospective pilgrims last week after receiving a positive response from the Indian side.

Earlier in March, India denied visas to 500 Pakistani pilgrims who wanted to attend the annual religious congregation at the Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer Sharif. Pakistan had expressed deep disappointment at the time, reported The Indian Express.

The Urs of Hazrat Amir Khusro is held at Nizamuddin in Delhi between June 28 and July 5, and is attended by devotees from across the world.

Former PM Abbasi disqualified from contesting elections

An election tribunal in Rawalpindi Wednesday barred former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi from contesting the general elections, reported The Express Tribune.

Abbasi filed his nomination papers from his home constituency of NA-57, Murree. The tribunal disqualified Abbasi on the grounds of being “guilty of concealment of facts and withholding of the complete information from his voters.”

Justice Ibad-Ur-Rehman Lodhi of the Lahore High Court (LHC), who heard the case, said that the former prime minister had misrepresented his assets and committed forgery. He noted that Abbasi, in his nomination papers had valued his Islamabad’s house at around Rs 300,000. But the same house was mortgaged against a bank loan of Rs 24,702,741.

Accused of not being ‘Sadiq’ (truthful) and ‘Ameen’ (righteous), Abbasi has decided to challenge the verdict in higher courts.

Anti-terror financing body grey lists Pakistan despite diplomatic efforts

Pakistan has officially been put on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Wednesday for its failure to curb terror financing, reported The Express Tribune.

The decision comes after a plenary meet in Paris where the interim finance minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar pleaded his country’s case to not be put on the list. Despite steps taken by the country, such as passing of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Regulations, 2018, on 20 June, all diplomatic efforts failed.

The News reported that the motion to include Pakistan was started by US and backed by Britain, France and Germany. This is the second time that the country has been put on the list after it figured on it between 2012 and 2015. FATF said Pakistan had failed to provide details of how it assesses terror financing and wanted to know if terrorism in the country had, indeed, declined.

Remove terror links for better trade relations: US to Pakistan

A Pakistani business delegation was told by senior US State Department officials in Washington DC Tuesday to stamp out terror for more trade, reported Dawn.

“They believe that to encourage investors, particularly from the United States, Pakistan must improve the security situation,” said Hubco’s CEO Khalid Mansoor, one of the 20 members of delegation. In their defence, officials said Pakistan remains the only country in the world to hit back at terrorism. Pakistan is not an inventor of terrorism but a victim, they added.

The warning comes in the back drop of FATF grey listing the country over its inability to control terror, although according to Kamran Nasir, CEO, JS Global Capital Ltd, “being placed on the grey list is not the end of the world.”

In 26/11 case, Pakistan gets a week’s time to submit reply

Hearing a case related to the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad Wednesday gave Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior a week’s time to notify to the court whether or not an Indian witnesses would come to the nation to testify, reported Ary News. The case was adjourned till 5 July after the Ministry made a request for more time.

So far, the statements of 85 witnesses presented by the Federal Investigative Agency have been recorded. Pakistani officials say they are still awaiting the Indian response on whether 27 witnesses from India will testify or not.

Eight people, including alleged mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi – who was granted bail by Lahore High Court in December 2014 but was later detained under Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) — are accused of fomenting terror in Mumbai in November 2008. The attacks killed 166 people.

Contributors: Sharanya Munsi, Alind Chauhan, Prateek Gupta, Rupanwita Bhattacharjee, Anagha Deshpande and Soniya Agrawal. 

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