HC Deb 25 June 2002 vol 387 c783W
Mr. Wray

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what services are available at the British high commissions in India and Pakistan for British citizens who do not wish to leave their respective countries. [61194]

Mr. Mike O'Brien

[holding answer 13 June 2002]: We have been advising Britons to leave Pakistan since 31 May. We continue to do everything we can to help any British national who chooses to remain in India or Pakistan despite our advice. Our posts in India continue to provide the full range of consular services. While Chennai and Kolkata continue to offer a full visa service, a reduction in staff means that our visa services are more limited in Delhi and Mumbai.

In Pakistan we have recently closed our mission in Lahore but our posts in Islamabad and Karachi are still offering the full range of consular services. Reduced staff levels there mean, however, that services may take longer to provide. Furthermore, Karachi is no longer able to offer a visa service and Islamabad is only able to offer a much reduced visa service.

We have advised British nationals who choose to remain in either country to stay in touch with our high commissions, and to monitor the media (including our website—www.fco.gov.uk). We stay in touch with British nationals who have registered with us through a network of wardens (such networks are maintained by FCO diplomatic posts in many countries overseas; wardens are volunteers who help to disseminate information to the resident British community) in both India and Pakistan, and we are encouraging any British national who remains in either country, and who has not registered with the high commission, to do so.

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