Pakistan Consulate General in Sydney under fire

Pakistan government has established a foreign diplomatic office in Sydney which provides consular services to the Pakistani citizens residing in Sydney and other cities of Australia. About a fortnight ago an incident took place in this office which brought it under fire. A dual national Pakistani visited the office for applying for the Pakistani visa as his Pakistani passport was expired. Staff asked him to provide the photocopies of some of his documents. When he returned back after getting the copies he was asked to stay back in the queue once again. When he approached the counter finally the officer attending him took a personal telephone call on his mobile and started talking for long. This made the visitor angry as he had got too much late. Both had some unpleasant argument.

Applicant later approached the Consul General (CG) and gave his feedback. Mr. Uqaili assured him to provide his assistance and also committed that he would be granted the visa very soon. However the female Consular intervened and pumped the CG that he must not approve the visa. On this the office held the passport and after few days they wrote with pen the words ‘visa refused’ on his Australian passport.

Gentleman took very strong action against this poor performance and made a video with his mobile camera. He uploaded the video on social media in which he is seemed exposing the negative role of the Consulate General staff in Sydney. Pakistani community in Australia, especially in Sydney has taken serious notice of this incident and they are demanding that CG Mr. Uqaili must take strong measures to help the affected person and improve the working conditions so that the expatriate Pakistanis could get quality service from this foreign office.

In my opinion, whatever the matter is, writing ‘VISA REFUSED’ with a pen on a foreign passport shows personal grudge of the staff at the Sydney diplomatic office. I also have strong objection on the provision of very expensive accommodations to the staff here. Even highly successful Pakistani professionals in Australia cannot afford to live in such lavish houses and areas where Pakistani foreign services officials live.

Pakistani community has demanded that office hours of the Consulate General must be extended so that the community members could get their issues resolved conveniently. They are also demanding that the office must be moved from Martin Place Sydney to a cheaper and easily approachable suburb like Lakemba, Auburn or Parramatta where most of the Pakistani community members live.

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