DHAKA - The authorities in the United States have finally confirmed to take steps regarding visa restrictions on some of the Bangladeshi individuals over elections.
The US embassy in Bangladesh said in an official statement that it was taking steps to impose visa restrictions on Bangladeshi individuals responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh.
'These individuals include members of law enforcement, the ruling party, and the political opposition. The United States is committed to supporting free and fair elections in Bangladesh that are carried out in a peaceful manner,' it said.
The embassy said the ones facing the ban and members of their immediate family may be found ineligible for entry into the United States.
'Additional persons found to have been responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh may also be found ineligible for U.S. visas under this policy in the future.' the embassy clarified.
The statement elaborated that those to face visa curbs include current and former Bangladeshi officials, members of the opposition and ruling political parties, and members of law enforcement, the judiciary, and security services.
'Our actions today reflect the continued commitment of the United States to supporting Bangladesh’s goal of peacefully holding free and fair national elections, and to support those seeking to advance democracy globally,' the statement read.
Earlier in May, the United States announced a new visa policy for Bangladesh ahead of elections in the Asian country.
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken had disclosed that he was announcing the new visa policy under Section 212(a)(3)(C) (“3C”) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to support Bangladesh’s goal of holding free, fair, and peaceful national elections.
Blinken detailed that under this policy, the United States will be able to restrict the issuance of visas for any Bangladeshi individual, believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh.
As far as those who can face the axe are concerned, the secretary said current and former Bangladeshi officials, members of pro-government and opposition political parties, and members of law enforcement, the judiciary, and security services can be denied the visa.
'The United States notified the Bangladeshi government of this decision on May 3, 2023,' noted Blinken.
The Secretary of State elaborated that actions that undermine the democratic election process include vote rigging, voter intimidation, the use of violence to prevent people from exercising their right to freedoms of association and peaceful assembly, and the use of measures designed to prevent political parties, voters, civil society, or the media from disseminating their views.
'The holding of free and fair elections is the responsibility of everyone—voters, political parties, the government, the security forces, civil society, and the media. I am announcing this policy to lend our support to all those seeking to advance democracy in Bangladesh,' Blinken said in clear-worded remarks.
In response to the comments, the Bangladesh foreign ministry had issued a statement and assured free and fair elections which are scheduled to be held in January next year.
“The government apparatus will take necessary measures to prevent and address any unlawful practices or interference … to compromise the smooth and participatory conduct of the elections,” it said.
“The electoral process will remain under strict vigilance, including by international observers as accredited by the Election Commission.”
Pakistani rupee remained stable against US dollar, and other currencies in the open market amid strong economic cues.
On Sunday, the US dollar was being quoted at 285.15 for buying and 287.95 for selling.
Euro moves down to 309.9 for buying and 310.5 for selling. British Pound rate stands at 359.4 for buying, and 360.05 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED also moved down to 77.45 whereas the Saudi Riyal drops to 75.82.
|UK Pound Sterling||GBP||359.4||360.05|
|Hong Kong Dollar||HKD||36.38||36.48|
|New Zealand Dollar||NZD||173.44||175.44|
The price of gold increased by thousands of rupees due to an upward trend in the international market.
On Sunday, the price of a single tola of 24-karat gold stands at Rs219,800 and 10 grams of 24k gold costs Rs188,450.
Meanwhile, single tola of 22 Karat gold costs Rs201,482, 21 karat rate costs Rs192,325 and 18k gold rate is Rs164,850.
Globally, gold prices hover at around $2072, gaining $32 on Sunday.
|Lahore||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Karachi||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Islamabad||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Peshawar||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Quetta||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Sialkot||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Attock||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Gujranwala||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Jehlum||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Multan||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Bahawalpur||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Gujrat||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Nawabshah||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Chakwal||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Hyderabad||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Nowshehra||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Sargodha||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Faisalabad||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|
|Mirpur||PKR 219,800||PKR 2,730|