Visas to US diplomats

SINCE the exposure of the fake diplomat and CIA operative Raymond Allen Davis (RAD), his numerous passports, visas and documents have caused the procedure for the issuance of visas to US diplomats and officials to be questioned. Prior to authorization of Ambassador Haqqani by the Prime Minister on 14 July 2010, all visas to US diplomats/officials were to be issued after administrative approval from Ministry of Foreign Affairs/clearance of security agencies. However, as per reports from Washington, visas are arbitrarily being issued to dubious US officials, who are suspected to be involved in espionage/other anti state activities in Pakistan. To avoid identification by the security agencies, these individuals have been providing fake addresses/credentials in their visa applications. The case in point is the issuance of visa to Mr. Raymond Allen Davis. He was issued visa in September 2009 without administrative approval from Ministry of Foreign Affairs/security clearance, when the relaxation in visa policy was not in practice. Had Pakistan Embassy bothered to verify the credentials/address of Mr. Davis given in his visa application, he would not have come to Pakistan and the lives of four innocent Pakistanis would have been saved.It can be well imagined that how much damage must have been done to our national interest after empowering Mr. Haqqani by the PM to issue visas to US officials/diplomats arbitrarily without administrative approval from Pakistan. It has been reported that between 14 July and 31 December 2010, approximately 3000 visas have been issued to US officials/diplomats by Pak Embassy Washington. The monitoring of such US personnel becomes an uphill task after arrival in Pakistan by Pakistani Law Enforcement Agencies. No correct record is held with Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Ministry of Interior about the presence of US personnel in Pakistan. They stay in official residences and mostly move in diplomatic vehicles, therefore, could avoid checking by law enforcing agencies in the garb of diplomatic immunities. One wonders, how many more RADs, who are enemies of Pakistan are not only freely g the streets of Pakistan but causing havoc in the garb of diplomatic cover.The Daily Mail believes that in view of recent killings of innocent Pakistanis by Mr. Davis who beyond doubt is a US agent, working on a dubious agenda in Pakistan, there is a need to immediately review our visa policy and powers of Ambassador be withdrawn.

Likewise, it has become imperative for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Ministry of Interior to update their data about the presence of US personnel in Pakistan, conversely, things will get out of control and we will see recurrences of such incidents in future. RAD, the culprit in question has been shown to be no longer just a murderer but having been actively engaged in anti-Pakistan activities, which make him an anti-state element. Whenever serious matters like screening of personnel prior to issuance of visas are left to whims, adverse results have resulted. In this case, the death of four innocent lives and an unborn child have been a consequence. These are the collateral damage that has come to light. There are still the cases of recruiting radical elements, launching them into acts of terror, sedition, espionage, subversion and the list could go on. One still needs to know what devastation Mr. Davis and his furtive infrastructure have caused only because the Embassy of Pakistan was lax in its procedures prior to issuing visas to US citizens. It is hoped that Pakistan has learnt a lesson from this episode and will exercise extreme caution while stamping visas and let the professional agencies, trained and experiencing in doing their job, conduct the screening of personnel and decide who merits receiving a diplomatic visa and who does not – Dailymailnews