ISLAMABAD: Around 20,000 Pakistanis, making efforts to get the Spanish nationality, are facing uncertainty about their legal status after the host country introduced a new law on July 11, The News learnt on Friday.
The Spanish government has refused to accept the documents of Pakistani community without a character certificate from the Government of Pakistan. Earlier, a document issued by the local police was sufficient in this regard.
An official of the Pakistani Consulate in Barcelona confirmed to this correspondent by telephone that a new condition had been attached, which was a cause of great worry for Pakistanis.
The certificate was sufficient to prove that the applicant had never been involved in any kind of criminal activity whatsoever. He also pointed out that Pakistani nationals were pressing the Pakistani embassy to play its role for removal of this Pakistan-specific condition.
Foreign Office Spokesman Muhammad Sadiq could not be contacted despite efforts by this correspondent for the gov-ernment’s viewpoint on the matter. This new measure is Pakistan-specific and it has come after some statements issued by the Pakistani leaders about the presence of terrorists in tribal areas.
Requesting anonymity, the official called upon the government to urgently look into the matter, as already documents of several Pakistanis had been rejected by the Spanish authorities. Another Pakistani contended that the new law was introduced on July 11 and the Spanish authorities started rejecting the papers which were submitted two months before. This law was applicable to cases of other nature as well, he noted.
He said the prime concern for him and thousands of other Pakistanis was how to get a certificate from Pakistan due to a complex police system in a new scenario. “Approximately, 20,000 Pakistanis were targeted by this measure who had fulfilled all the requirements, including three-year stay in Spain, one year work contract and Spanish language test certificate from the municipality,” he said.
Source: The News, 26/7/2008