At least 10 people, including five policemen, have been killed in blast outside Lahore’s Data Darbar, confirmed Punjab’s police chief. Another 20 people were injured.
The blast occurred near a mobile of the Elite Force parked near Gate Number 2 at 8:40am on Wednesday. There were five people in the van — four policemen and one driver. The driver was not in the van at the time of the blast. Other cars nearby were also damaged in the blast.
Punjab IG Arif Nawaz has confirmed that the police were “100%” targeted in the attack. The attacker could have hit another side (of the Data Darbar) but chose to approach the police van stationed there, he told the media outside the shrine. The police are stationed there round the clock as part of routine security, he said. He said a 7kg bomb was used.
Most of the victims were taken Mayo Hospital, where an emergency has been imposed. Nine of the injured are in critical condition. Rescue teams say some passers-by were injured in the blast as well. The police have not confirmed how many policemen were deployed outside Data Darbar.
They have sealed the area and are evacuating the shrine. They have begun collecting evidence at the scene. Crime scene teams are at the scene, as is the bomb disposal squad. The police are recording the statements of witnesses and the van’s driver. The driver told SAMAA TV he went to an ATM to withdraw money at the time of the blast.
Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has ordered an investigation into the blast and has cancelled his trip to Sargodha, Bhakkar and Sheikhupura. He was in Bhakkar and is on his way back to Lahore. He has summoned an emergency security meeting.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken notice of the incident and called for a report.
The police have not officially confirmed the nature of the blast (whether it was a suicide attack or planted device). The operations DIG has requested people to stop speculating, saying investigations are not based on speculations. Police officials will address a media briefing shortly.
The blast took place around 200 to 300 metres from the actual entrance to the shrine.
CM Buzdar addressed the media outside the Data Darbar at noon and said the death toll has now risen to 10. Twenty people have been injured, he confirmed. An inquiry has been ordered and we will follow the SOPs in the investigation, he said.
He assured that the injured would be provided complete treatment and that compensation would be provided to everyone involved. There was no specific threat here, he said, denying reports that police officials were late to the scene.
Frequently Asked Question- Sole Rep Visa
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Q1. What is a Sole Rep Visa?
Ans. The Representative of an overseas business route also known as Sole Representative of an overseas business is an immigration route particularly designed for individuals who either are looking to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary or register a branch for an overseas parent company. This route is necessary for individuals who have been posted on a long-term assignment to the UK by their employers as an overseas worker.
A major consideration with Sole Representative Visa is that the sole rep must be recruited outside the UK by the overseas company whose headquarters and principal place of business is not in the UK.
Q2. What are representative of an overseas business eligibility criteria/requirements?
- The prospective sole rep must be able to demonstrate extensive industry-related experience and knowledge.
- The prospective representative of an overseas business must be recruited and employed outside the UK whose principal place of business is outside the UK. The company must have no subsidiary, branch, or other representatives in the UK.
- The applicant must hold a senior position with the overseas company and have full authority to take operational decisions on the company’s decisions.
- The applicant must intend to establish a company’s commercial presence in the UK.
- The applicant must not accept any kind of employment in the UK except for the Overseas Company.
- The prospective sole rep must meet the maintenance requirement.
- The applicant must meet the English language requirement.
Q3. What documents are needed for Representative of an overseas business Visa?
Ans. The applicant must provide the following documents:
- A current passport or valid travel identification.
- Evidence demonstrating the financial ability of themselves and dependents, for instance, bank statements or payslips for the last 6 months.
- Details of accommodating during the stay in the UK.
- Evidence demonstrating the English requirements by passing an approved English Language Test with CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening or an academic qualification recognized by UK NARIC as equivalent to UK’s Bachelor degree or master’s degree or Ph.D.
- Applicant’s tuberculosis test results.
- A certified translation includes passports, a photocard driving license, a letter from a government department, a credit card statement, council tax bills, or letters from a hospital signed and dated by a professional person.
Sole Representatives must also provide
- A detailed description of the business’s activities.
- A letter confirming the overseas business intending to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary or register a branch in the UK with the same activity as it runs in the overseas.
- Job description, salary details, and employment contract.
- A letter confirming the applicant’s familiarity with the business and authority to take the operational decision.
- Evidence to prove that they are directly employed by the business.
- Evidence to demonstrate that he or she is recruited outside the UK
- Evidence of senior position in the business with the authority to make a decision on the company’s behalf.
- Evidence to certify that the sole rep will be working full time for the company for the duration of stay without carrying out any other work.
- Evidence that he or she does not control a majority of the overseas majority.
Q4. Is it possible to extend the Sole Representative Visa?
Ans. Yes, however, a sole rep needs to comply with Sole Representative Visa Guidance.
- A sole rep is in the UK with valid entry clearance as a sole representative of an overseas business.
- The company’s headquarter and principal place of business continues to be outside the UK.
- A sole rep is still actively involved full time as the Sole Representative of an overseas business
- The employer must certify that the individual is still needed for the job.
- A sole rep is capable enough to meet the maintenance and accommodation requirements.
Q5. How does an immigration solicitor help in obtaining a Sole Rep Visa?
Ans. An immigration solicitor provides advice on legal requirements as well as make sure that the client is compliant with the immigration rules. They are capable to deal with a wide variety of business immigration matters with varying degrees of complexities.