Pakistan won't give Almeida exit visa, says former foreign secretary

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct. 12 (ANI): Former Indian foreign secretary Bhupatray Shashank has said that the Pakistan government will not take Dawn journalist and assistant editor Cyril Almeida off the exit control list anytime soon, and added that practically everybody in Pakistan is on that country's restricted list. Almeida has been placed on the exit control list following the writing of an article in which claimed that the civilian government's instructions were being ignored by Pakistan's military leadership. "Well actually, we do not have any such list, unless we have a list of Indians and foreigners for border control so that the immigration control would stop them while going out or coming in and then they would check with the authorities, who have put them on list. But that is called the restricted list," Shashank told ANI. "In Pakistan, practically everybody is on their restricted list, so it has no meaning and if they have put him on restricted list, which means that they have decided that not to give him an exit visa. Because everyone knows that any Pakistani, who goes out of Pakistan has to have an exit visa, before going out whether to India or any other country," he added. Shashank further said that in India a passport is issued on the bases of normal clearances, whereas, in Pakistan a passport is issued only after an exit visa has been obtained by the person concerned. "So, therefore, anybody who comes to India, we must be quiet clear in that case that that person has obtained an exit visa and has been cleared by Pakistan military and Pakistan ISI," he added. Almeida said on Twitter that he had been told his name was on the "exit control list", a border control system. The row erupted over his article in which he said the government had bluntly warned the military chiefs that Pakistan faced isolation unless it acted against home grown militancy. The government rejected the report, calling it "a fabricated news story". (ANI)