Pakistan boycotts UN meeting after visa delay for Islamist politician

ISLAMABAD - The failure of Pakistan's Senate deputy chairman, a prominent Islamist politician, to get a US visa on time for a trip to the United States prompted Pakistan to boycott a UN-sponsored meeting on Monday, a parliamentary official said.
It was not clear whether the failure of Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri to get a visa on time for his trip was related to US President Donald Trump's call for "extreme vetting" of applicants amid a push to suspend visas from seven other countries.
Haideri, a leader of the Islamist Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) party, had been scheduled to lead a delegation to a meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union on Monday and Tuesday at UN headquarters in New York.
However, when he did not get a US visa on time to travel by the weekend, he cancelled his trip and the rest of delegation decided to boycott, Chaudhry Arshad, a director at the office of the Senate chairman, told Reuters.
"Unless the U.S. provides an explanation for this delay, no Senate delegation will visit the US and no member of Congress or US diplomat will be welcomed in the Senate," Arshad said, referring to Pakistan's upper house of parliament.
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