LAHORE: Former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had authorized Hussain Haqqani, the then Pakistan ambassador to the United States, to issue visas to Americans. The Asian Post has obtained copy of PM House letter, signed by former principal secretary Nargis Sethi. In the letter, issued on July 14, 2010, Yousuf Raza Gilani had authorized Hussain Haqqani to issue entry visa to any American citizen for a period of one year. According to the letter, Hussain Haqqani was empowered to issue entry visas for restricted periods to US officials who have been recommended in writing by the Department of State and whose duly completed application forms, it is clearly indicated for what purpose they intend to travel to Pakistan. Hussain Haqqani was also empowered to issue ‘diplomatic’ visas to Americans without referring their cases to the ministry for security agencies’ clearance. Haqqani could only provide information to the Prime Minister’s Office. It is pertinent to mention here that former president Asif Ali Zardari in an interview had denied that Hussain Haqqani had any power to issue visas to American citizens. The Asian Post has also obtained a copy of Foreign Ministry letter dated January 18, 2010 in which directions were issued to deny visas to 36 US citizens. The letter signed by Foreign Ministry officer Suhail Khan also contained names the 36 Americans who were CIA agents and wanted to enter Pakistan on a special task. Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told the Senate on Wednesday that after this special permission, a total of 2,487 such visas were issued to the Americans in six months. Sartaj Aziz was giving his policy speech with regard to the controversy sparked by Haqqani’s recent article published in The Washington Post on March 13.