Nothing new in recently announced US visa policy

Published : 28 May 2023 08:55 PM

There is nothing new in the recently announced US visa policy. The visa policy of the US describes the requirements for foreign nationals to travel to, enter, and remain in the US.  The country has long been very strict in issuing visas. Many more influential and socially acclaimed personalities have been denied US visa in the past without having any report of violence against them.

The US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken on May 24 announced the new visa policy. Under this policy, the United States will be able to restrict the issuance of visas for any Bangladeshi individual, believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh

The policy includes current and former Bangladeshi officials, members of pro-government and opposition political parties, and members of law enforcement agencies the judiciary, and security services.

Actions that undermine the democratic election process include vote rigging, voter intimidation, the use of violence to prevent people from exercising their right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly, and the use of measures designed to prevent political parties, voters, civil society, or the media from disseminating their views, reads the statement.

The new policy does not bother

the government of Bangladesh 

as authorities are committed to 

holding a free and fair election

The US Ambassador in Dhaka Peter Haas said Washington’s new visa policy is to support Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Bangladeshi people’s efforts to hold a free and fair election.In the wake of US new visa policy Bangladesh said it is supportive to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s commitment for credible elections as Washington overnight issued a pre-emptive warning to impose visa restrictions against individuals who would hinder fair polls in the South Asian country. 

The new policy does not bother the government of Bangladesh as authorities are committed to holding a free and fair election.The announcement came as main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has been waging a campaign to restore an election time non-party caretaker government to oversee elections saying no polls under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's administration would be fair.

The party also vowed not to take part in any 

election under the incumbent Awami League-led government.

Therefore, this policy supports Prime Minister Hasina’s stated commitment to hold free and fair election in Bangladesh and allow the US to act when Bangladeshi citizens or officials from all political parties undermine the critical demand of democracy.Besides, the new US visa policy would stop arson attack and violence in Bangladesh centring the upcoming general election.