ISLAMABAD - Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan yesterday directed Pakistan ambassador to US that rules and regulations should be followed in issuance of visas to foreigners from US.

The minister's direction came in the backdrop of arrest of blacklisted US national Matthew Craig Barrett who was arrested by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Saturday last following his illegal entry into Pakistan. Pakistan's consulate in Houston issued Mr Barrett a visa ignoring the fact that he was already blacklisted and deported from Pakistan for photographing sensitive buildings near Islamabad.

A spokesman of the Ministry of Interior said that the issue came under discussion in a meeting of the interior minister with Pakistan Ambassador to US Jalil Abbas Jilani.

The meeting also discussed the Pak-US relations in the backdrop of the statements of US Congressmen and State Department officials questioning Pakistan's role in the war on terrorism. "The uncalled for criticism by US on the role of Pakistan with regard to the war on terror could create hurdles in the good relations as well as common interests of both the countries," the minister remarked.

FIA on early Saturday morning had arrested blacklisted US national Matthew Craig Barrett after he was granted entry by an FIA sub-inspector and his son at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA). He was blacklisted from Pakistan in 2011 on charges of espionage.

A case has been registered against him under the foreigners and customs acts.

The interior ministry has formed a joint investigation team headed by SP Investigation Captain (retired) Mohammad Ilyas to probe the facts surrounding Barrett's arrival in Islamabad and issuance of his visa by Pakistani consulate in US.