Pakistanis cannot obtain visas on arrival in Sri Lanka henceforth, the Sri Lankan government has said.

Confirming the move, a senior official at Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry here said it was aimed at deterring asylum seekers. The Pakistani-based newspaper Dawn reported that the decision, which was taken in view of the rising number of political asylum cases in Sri Lanka, was officially communicated to Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry.

It quoted the Pakistani Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam as saying: “These people [asylum seekers] obtained asylum in Sri Lanka by badmouthing Pakistan. If they are in trouble, I have no idea.”

Recently, The Sunday Times here reported that the U.N. agency for refugees sought an explanation from the Sri Lankan government on the reported deportation of a number of asylum seekers from Pakistan.

When contacted, officials at the Pakistani mission in Colombo did not comment on the development. Officials at Sri Lanka’s Immigration Department were also not available for comment.