By Joanne Bladd
Five nations affected by blanket visa ban, move spurred by security risks to Kuwait
Kuwait has banned nationals from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan from entering the country over fears political unrest in those nations could pose a risk to the Gulf state’s security.
The blacklist includes trade, tourism and visit visas as well as visas sponsored by spouses, immigration sources quoted by Kuwait media said Saturday.
The Gulf state’s move was attributed to the “difficult security conditions in the five countries” and the increased risk of nationals bringing over relatives to escape arrest in their home country, immigration sources said.
A number of Gulf states have tightened border security in the wake of the Arab Spring revolts that have spread across the Middle East. Kuwait’s move came after a number of security scares including the discovery last week of explosives hidden in a pickup truck that was trying to enter an industrial seaport.
The driver of the truck was described as an Asian national by the government.
Kuwait, the launch pad for the 2003 US-led war on Iraq which ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, remains a logistics base for the US Army to support its troops in the region.
The OPEC-member hosts Camp Arifjan, a vast base in the desert south of the capital that serves as a staging post for US forces being deployed in neighbouring Iraq.
In April, Kuwait said it had uncovered an Iranian spy cell that monitored the US military presence and planned to bomb “strategic” facilities. The Gulf state sentenced two Iranians and a Kuwaiti to death for their part in the alleged plot.
Iran expelled three Kuwaiti diplomats in a tit-for-tat move after the Gulf emirate said it would throw out three Iranian diplomats in the row over spy allegations.
In 2009, Kuwait foiled an al Qaeda-linked plan to bomb a US Army camp and other facilities in the country, including the state security building.
Unofficially there has been a ban on Pakistanis entering Kuwait for quiet some time now. But classifying 5 nationalities as troublemongers just reflects their own insecurities especially after watching the brawl in the parliament
After visiting this country on many occassions, I would conclude that this initiative is in the best interest of this small country. With a weak Ministry of Interior, it is apparent that Kuwait is viewed as an easy target in some overseas channels. Due to the fact that Kuwait has a limited business platform currently and is not on any development path, it can well afford to ban visas to these countries for its own protection, because it does not need the labor force at this time and this could assist them in getting a handle on their internal affairs. I would advise this country to seek training from neighboring UAE to improve immigration procedures with upgraded equipment and to train with the UAE Investigative Authorities which is one of the finest in the region to improve their police force. I believe they still take manual passports from the subcontinent which is banned in the UAE.
Is this some sort of propaganda about Pakistan. Comments are being displayed as news.
I just got Kuwaiti visa 3 weeks ago from Pakistan. A friend of mine also moved to Kuwait in early feb. this year on a work visa. So where is this ban on visas being applied?
what about those, already living in kuwait?
It is becoming quite apparent that majority of problems Pakistan is facing are being funded by Middle Eastern Countries. I think Pakistan should break diplomatic relations with Kuwait. There is no such thing as Muslim brotherhood; Pakistan always supported Arab cause and what they got in return? Pakistan should recognize Israel and develop good relations with them.
Why Pakistanis and Afghans are greater risk to Kuwait than to any other country? such as Saudi or UAE? Or even US and UK. I think it is an overreaction by Kuwati Govt and they should reverse their decision.
Why not Egyptians? Egypt also was involved in the arab world unrest.
kuwait goverment should revers this decsion...this is not fair
Their Residence Visa will not be renewed.
Kudos to a brave decision - others should follow suit considering that the root of modern day terror is in the Afpak badlands