India has assured to solve PIA employees' visa issue: Pak

Pakistan on Thursday stated that India has assured the resolving of the visa issue faced by Pakistan International Airlines employees, adding that the Islamic Republic`s national flag carrier has taken up the matter concerning the property that it purchased with New Delhi.

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday stated that India has assured the resolving of the visa issue faced by Pakistan International Airlines employees, adding that the Islamic Republic`s national flag carrier has taken up the matter concerning the property that it purchased with New Delhi.

"The issue faced by PIA Staff in New Delhi is that their visas, which expired last week, have not been renewed. The Mission [High Commission of Pakistan] has taken up the issue with the Ministry of External Affairs, who have promised to resolve the issue of visas," Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs official spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told the media.

With regards to the issue concerning the purchase of property by the PIA, Aslam stated that the airlines had been served a notice by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

"PIA acquired some property in 2005. But recently, On November 24, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) served a notice on PIA office in New Delhi, stating that the property purchased by PIA in 2005 violated the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), which prohibited nine countries` citizens, including Pakistan, from acquiring properties on ownership basis without prior permission of RBI and that PIA should dispose-off the property within six months. The notice was followed by summons on January 2 from the Enforcement Directorate, Ministry of Finance of India," she said.

"The PIA office clarified that prior to purchasing the property... they had fulfilled all the formalities including, seeking permission of RBI, and that subsequently the property was transferred in PIA`s name and was duly registered with Indian authorities concerned," she added.

Aslam further stated that PIA has consulted a legal expert over the matter and has submitted a response to the RBI over the same. 

"The PIA office consulted a local legal expert and submitted its response on January 16 to RBI with [a] copy to the Enforcement Directorate of India. The issue has also been taken up by our Mission and this Ministry with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian High Commission, respectively," she said.

Earlier this week, Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner to India Mansoor Ahmad Khan lodged a formal protest with senior officers of the Ministry of External Affairs over the issue of a notice being sent by the RBI to the PIA over alleged unlawful purchase of properties and the visa related issues.
 

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