The move is expected to improve the bilateral ties between India and Pakistan as the approval process had been in limbo for the past two years

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a press briefing held on June 17 that both India and Pakistan have cleared all pending assignment visas for diplomats and other staff on June 16.

This move is expected to improve bilateral ties between India and Pakistan as the approval process had been in limbo for the past two years.

According to a report by the Times of India, bilateral ties between the neighbours were worsening with India gradually pulling out its staffers from Islamabad in view of Pakistan's delay in issuing visas to their replacements.

However, both nations have decided to reconcile and visa approvals were simultaneously granted by both India and Pakistan on June 16.

Speaking about the Pakistan National Assembly’s Bill to provide the Right of Appeal to Indian death-row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav, the MEA Spokesperson said, “We call upon Pakistan to take appropriate steps to address the shortcoming in the Bill (ICJ (Review and Re-consideration) Bill, 2020 passed by Pakistan National Assembly) and to comply with the judgments of the ICJ in letter and spirit.”

Bagchi also said that the issue of Afghanistan has also been discussed during External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s recent visit to Qatar. US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who was in Doha during the EAM’s visit, had called on Jaishankar to brief him on the recent developments with regard to Afghanistan.

Updating about fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi’s extradition, the MEA spokesperson said that legal proceedings are underway. “The Government of India is actively engaged with the Dominican govt to seek the early deportation of Mehul Choksi to face justice in our country,” he added.

Baghi also spoke on vaccine passports to facilitate safe international travel in pandemic times and added that there is no information on India issuing any vaccine passport yet. However, Bagchi said: “We (MEA) would favour discussion on the subject of vaccine passport with a greater focus on vaccine equity.”