Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Updated: Holland resumes visa services after short closure

ISLAMABAD, NOV 12 (DNA) Dutch embassy announced on Monday the resumption of consular and visa services in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.The embassy and consulates will start receiving visa application from tomorrow.Earlier today the embassy had decided to discontinue visa services but afterwards they decided to resume services for the facilitation of people.

There were reports that Aasia Bibi, soon after her release from Multan jail, was flown to the Netherlands.

However Pakistan’s foreign office had immediately issued a statement saying Aasia Bibi was in Pakistan and with her family.

Nevertheless, Aasia Bibi’s lawyer left Pakistan after the court verdict. He claimed he was facing serious life threats that is why he had to leave.

Diplomatic sources say the closure of the Dutch embassy is for the time being and decision to re-open the mission shall be taken after assessing the security situation.

It may be mentioned here that some time ago Denmark had also closed down its embassy in Pakistan after blasphemous caricatures incident.

The Danish embassy was closed after an attack from an angry mob in 2015.  However the embassy was re-opened after a short while. The Danish embassy was more prone to attacks because it was situated in the heart of the city and in the residential area.

While the Dutch embassy is now located in the Diplomatic Enclave, which is considered a safe area in terms of security.

There is one foreign mission that had closed down its operations on security grounds but never re-opened the embassy. This country happens to be Finland, which wrapped up its operations from Pakistan almost a decade ago.

The Finland embassy was located very close to the Red Mosque (Lal Masjid) and was closed down in the wake of military action against Lal Masjid.

Since then the Finland embassy in Pakistan is not operational despite the fact they still are in possession of the building. =DNA

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