Pakistan May Not Stay Immune to US Visa Ban



Waseem Abbasi | The News International

WASHINGTON — Although Pakistan is not included in the list of seven Muslim countries whose nationals are barred from entering the United States, the US    Presidential executive order provides for inclusion of more countries in the list after two months.

Initially, the nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen have been included in the list but Pakistanis living in the United States are feeling insecure as the order leaves room for inclusion of their country in the list.

“After the 60-day period described in subsection (d) of this section expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals,” says the order signed by President Trump on Friday.

The order titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” also states that at any point after submitting the second list the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security may submit to the President the names of any additional countries recommended for similar treatment.

Sajid Tarar, a Pakistani-American who was very vocal in supporting Donald Trump in election campaign, did not rule out inclusion of Pakistan in the list.

“You never know but Pakistani government should take it seriously, which looks like impossible,” Sajid told The News. He said Pakistani government should take the executive order seriously and cooperate with US authorities on national security issues.

Sajid was referring to provisions of the executive order under which the US authorities will ask the countries to provide all required information about the visa applicants to determine whether they are a security threat to the United States.

The countries failing to provide such information can also be included in the list of affected countries. He said the situation in seven affected countries is really volatile and the new American administration had to take measures to secure the country.

He said President Trump had to fulfill campaign promises on national security. “During our party’s meeting I have been constantly updating the officials on Pakistan’s improved situation and capacity of National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to document Pakistani citizens. That is why Pakistan is not in the list of seven countries,” he said. “It is an ongoing process and the number of affected countries is likely to grow. We are extremely nervous over this uncertain situation,” said a Pakistani businessman living in New York requesting anonymity.

He said the executive order has also resulted in increased hate crimes against Muslims including those of Pakistani origin. “My wife was going for grocery when she was chased by a White man who verbally abused her for wearing a headscarf,” he said.

“The man only fled the scene after local residents came to help her,” he said. Protests spread out across America on Saturday and Sunday against the executive order of President Trump, forcing the White House to reverse a key part of the order and allowing green card holder from affected countries to return to the United States.

Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.


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