Washington: The United States on Friday (local time) imposed visa sanctions on Pakistan after it refused to take back its citizen deportees and visa over-stayers, as per the US State Department.
"Consular operations in Pakistan remain unchanged. This is a bilateral issue of ongoing discussion between the US and Pakistani governments and we are not going to get into the specifics at the time," Sputnik quoted a US State Department spokesperson as saying on Friday (local time).
For some countries, the sanctions begin by targeting officials who work in the ministries responsible for accepting the return of that country's nationals, according to the State Department's federal register notification, dated April 22.
"(The) escalation scenarios that target family members of those officials and potentially officials of other ministries and then other categories of applicants if initial sanctions do not prove effective at encouraging greater cooperation on removals by the targeted government," the notification adds.
Pakistan's former Ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani, speculated that the new sanctions may create obstacles for Pakistani citizens wanting to travel to the United States.
"This measure will create hardship for Pakistanis who want or need to travel to the US and could have been avoided if Pakistani authorities had not ignored American requests to respect their legal requirements for deportation," Sputnik quoted him as saying.
Other countries against whom the US has introduced visa restrictions are Ghana, Guyana, the Gambia, Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Myanmar and Laos.