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International relations

Pakistanis pay price as Islamabad joins Turkey-Iran-Malaysia bloc

UAE blocks key source of income as it refuses to issue work visas to Pakistanis

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had not earned the wrath of Gulf states when he attended this investment conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in October 2018.   © Reuters

KARACHI -- Pakistan's overseas laborers are paying the price for one of their government's foreign policy decisions now that the United Arab Emirates has banned them from receiving work visas. Islamabad lost favor with Gulf states after it tried to align itself with a Turkey-Iran-Malaysia bloc challenging Saudi Arabia's leadership of the Muslim world.

The UAE last month temporarily banned the citizens of 13 Muslim majority countries, including Pakistan, from receiving work and visit visas. At the time, it was speculated that the ban was a measure to help prevent the coronavirus's spread.

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