It is a matter of great surprise that grant of visa to Pakistanis to enter UK is being mostly refused these days and on very flimsy grounds. There does not appear to be any set criteria on the basis of which visa are being refused. Normally applicants attach their bank statements to show their financial position and ability to bear expenses during a visit and short stay in UK. But even high-ranking retired officers who wish to visit their friends or relatives and definitely have the financial wherewithals have been refused. In some cases, old scholars of renowned universities of UK have been refused too. Pakistani politicians are also among those refused visa on unknown or entirely baseless grounds. In this sort of policy milieu, students are bound to be treated as 'suspects and they are. But there should be some cogent reasons for refusal of visas. In the interest of longstanding bilateral relations between UK and Pakistan, the visa procedure should be made simpler and unhindered entry and movement of genuine visitors should be facilitated. The students who are currently in UK for study are complaining of harassment. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should look into it and ensure streamlining of visa procedures. Newspaper reporters should highlight the issue and columnists create pressure. -DR BASHIR MAHMOOD BHATTI, Islamabad, March 5.