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US cuts visa duration for Pakistan nationals – India Today

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The US has cut visa durations for some Pakistani visitors by four years — from five to just one — and will not let journalists stay for more than three months without a renewed permit, the Express Tribune reports.

That’s in addition to extra fees for some kinds of approved visas, including for journalists and religious workers, the newspaper said, citing information provided by the US Embassy in Islamabad.

Other kinds of visas, including for business trips, tourism and medical treatment, are still valid for a five-year-period.

The US said it was legally bound to cut down visa validity and hike fees because Pakistan “was unable to liberalise its visa regime for certain visa categories”, the report said.

SOUTH ASIA TENSIONS

Meanwhile, India and Pakistan appeared to have de-escalated tensions after New Delhi announced airstrikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot last week.

Pakistan’s response was to send its own warplanes across the border, but India said their attempt to target its military installations was thwarted.

A pilot captured by Pakistan during the dogfight was released on Friday.

US president Donald Trump said a day before Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s release that his country was involved in mediating between India and Pakistan, in an attempt to get them to scale back tensions.

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