The United Arab Emirates cabinet minister has put aside media reports that the UAE suspended the issuance of a labor visa to Pakistanis, PM’s aide Zulfikar Bukhari said. In a Tweet from his official handle on Thursday, Bukhari thanked UAE Minister for Human Resources Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli for his continued support for Pakistanis expatriates working within the Gulf country.
“Thankful to HE Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli (Minister of Human Resources & Emiratisation) for his continued support for #OverseasPakistanis – Contrary to media reports, he categorically stated there’s NO BAN on export of workforce – There has been 11% [increase] in knowledge workers,” he wrote on the micro-blogging site.
The reports emerged on Wednesday claiming that the UAE has stopped issuing new visas to citizens of 13 mostly Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Syria. A source briefed on the matter told Reuters the visas had temporarily stopped being issued to Afghans, Pakistanis, and citizens of several other countries over security concerns, but failed to provide details of these concerns.
“Workers including Pakistanis laid off during #Covid19 registered on Virtual Labour Market Database are given priority -10yr golden visa applications are being encouraged Looking forward to continued collaboration with UAE leadership to handle the problems of our diaspora,” the PM’s aide said during a follow-up tweet.
Meanwhile, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said in a very tweet that Bukhari spoke to the UAE official via video link to “dispel the negative reports on ban on Pakistani workers”. “To dispel the negative reports on ban on Pakistani workers by UAE, SAPM @sayedzbukhari got back touch with UAE Minister of Human Resource & Emiratisation to deal with the problems being faced by Pakistani workforce within the UAE.”
The UAE is home to tens of thousands of Pakistani workers, who are employed in several sectors and send foreign remittances considered key to the country’s interchange reserves.