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Legislators concerned over 7,016 Pakistanis imprisoned abroad

30 January, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Legislators in the National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday expressed concerns over a large number of Pakistanis (7,016) imprisoned in different countries on charges of terrorist activities, "talibanisation", murder, theft, rape and illegal stay.

They demanded that the government take appropriate measures to stop movement of such Pakistanis who damaged image of the country abroad.

Mehmood Khan Achakzai said that these Pakistanis were involved in such kind of activities that it becomes difficult for the government to provide them legal support.

Responding to MNAs' questions, Federal Minister for Commerce and Trade Khurram Dastagir said the Ministry of Interior would be asked to properly monitor Pakistanis going abroad.

He agreed that charges against the Pakistanis was a serious issue and it should be addressed properly.

Replying to a query of Nafeesa Khan Khattak, the commerce minister provided details of the arrested 7,016 Pakistanis.

He said that 738 Pakistanis have been imprisoned in Afghanistan, 254 in Australia, 56 in Bahrain, 52 in Bangladesh, 8 in Belgium, 275 in China, one in Cambodia, 177 in Hong Kong, one in Egypt, 386 in India, five in Indonesia, 200 in Iran, 87 in Iraq, nine in Japan, one in Jordan, six in South Korea, 265 in Kuwait, four in Lebanon, seven in Cyprus, 225 in Malaysia, 10 in Maldives, 32 in Nepal, 629 in Oman, 29 in Qatar, 1920 in Saudi Arabia, 55 in Sri Lanka, one in Singapore, 69 in Thailand, 60 in Turkey, 1,800 in UAE , one in Vietnam and 13 in Yemen.

He said the government has established a Special Cell on Overseas Pakistanis (SCOP) for securing the release of overseas Pakistanis. The government has also paid fine to secure the release of imprisoned Pakistanis. Due to paucity of funds, the government has failed to pay huge fines of convicted overseas Pakistanis.

In 2010-11, 92 Pakistanis were released by paying fine to gulf countries and Malaysia. The release of 30 Pakistanis were secured by paying fine in 2011-12. In 2013-14, Pakistanis were released from India.

The ministry has paid Rs 1.323 million for one way ticket for 32 destitute Pakistanis for their repatriation from Malaysia in April 2013.

He said that there were 77 Pakistani prisoners who had completed their sentences against petty charges but were not released from Dubai during May-June 2013. An amount of Rs 8.799 million was paid to Dubai in fine, he said.

A sum of Rs 1.6 million had been paid to China for paying the fine of a Pakistani prisoner who had completed five years of imprisonment in China. Rs 461,386 were paid to Nepal for securing the release of a Pakistanis prisoner. Likewise, Rs 3.777 million had been paid to Saudi Arabia for securing the release of four Pakistanis, the minister said.

Yet other 72 Pakistanis prisoners included 42 from Sri Lanka and 32 from Thailand have been released under a bilateral agreement on transfer of offenders. In addition, six prisoners were also repatriated to Pakistan as a goodwill gesture by China and Seychelles.

The minister assured the legislators that appropriate measures would be taken to stop illegal activities by Pakistanis abroad.

End.

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