ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday raised with India the issue of extension in the visas of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) employees in New Delhi.
According to Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam, the issue will hopefully be resolved soon. She said the Indian authorities have also been informed about the notice received by the PIA office in New Delhi regarding its property. She said the PIA has been advised to follow the legal course.
According to reports, India’s Directorate of Enforcement has issued a notice to PIA asking it to “dispose of” its properties in New Delhi calling their purchase as “unauthorized”.
The notice sent to PIA said the properties in New Delhi were acquired in contravention of the Foreign Exchange Management Act and without prior permission from the Reserve Bank of India.
“We are at a loss to understand why they are acting now, and how we will operate without marketing and sales offices,” PIA Manager in North India, Saeed Ahmad Khan, was quoted in the report.
He added that the airline had been operating at the New Delhi premises since the past nine years and the Reserve Bank of India had been duly informed at the time of purchase in 2005.
According to PIA spokesman Rana Hanif, PIA staff in New Delhi would appear before Indian authorities on January 29 and present before them the record and documents pertaining to the purchase, which had been carried out in accordance with the law.
Commenting on the denial of visa extension to PIA staff, Rana Hanif said that, “Given the relations between India and Pakistan, denial of visa extension is a routine issue faced by the airline’s staff; the visas are normally extended via diplomatic means.” He added that the staff had been instructed to maintain contact with the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi in this regard.
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