ISLAMABAD -  Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani wants a ‘tit-for-tat’ response from the government for those countries which were using unnecessary delaying tactics in the issuance of visas to Pakistanis especially parliamentarians and government officials.

“Some foreign embassies don’t issue visas to our official passports even after the passage of up to four weeks and Pakistan should give the response in a tit for tat manner to get the issue resolve,” said the Senate chairman. If the government responds in the same manner, the matter will be resolved in no time, he added.

The chairman said that he had talked with foreign missions, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz about delay in the issuance of visas to official Pakistani passports but no one gave a reasonable response.

Rabbani’s remarks came after PML-N lawmaker Ghous Bukhsh Niazi said that some Middle Eastern countries were using delaying tactics in issuance of visas to Pakistanis and especially to officials and parliamentarians after Saudi Arabia started airstrikes in Yemen.

Separately, PPP Senator Sehar Kamran on a call attention notice pointed out that a curriculum book of school level being taught in private schools had wrongly mentioned Azad Jammu and Kashmir territory as “Pakistani occupied area of Jammu and Kashmir. She said that the matter was highly objectionable and against the national interest. “This is a sheer negligence,” she remarked.

Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division (CDD) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry admitted that the mistake was part of 5th grade curriculum book. He said that the ministry took action after the matter came into its notice and the book was banned and its entire stock was confiscated. The publisher has tendered an apology for the mistake and the new version of the book had been published. “The ministry is reviewing the curriculum being taught in public schools of federal area to make it up to the mark and Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) had the responsibility to oversee the curriculum being taught in private schools,” CADD minister informed the house.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan on a point of public concern said that all the accused around 115 in number facing charges of attacking and setting on fire Christian community of Jacob Lines in Lahore had got clean chit from a court.

He deplored that even TV channels had shown the faces of all accused attacking the Christian community but hey succeeded to get free. He said that their acquittal would send a wrong message internationally and with this decision, outer world would have reasons to alleged Pakistanis as racists. “Christians and other minorities are already living in Pakistan in a constant state of fear,” he added.

The Chairman Senate asked the Ministry of Interior to give its report on the matter and inform whether the Punjab government was filing an appeal in the case or not. He also directed Senate Secretariat to provide a copy of the judgement to his office.

PML-N Senator Nehal  Hashmi condemned the remarks of Chairman PTI Imran Khan about foreign players in his informal talk to media persons without mentioning his name as the chair barred the lawmaker to use any one’s name in his remarks. PTI Senator Mohsin Aziz in his response said that his party welcomed holding of cricket matches in the country but these should not be at the cost of public inconvenience through closure of roads and the city as well in the name of security measures.