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Over 550 Pakistanis detained abroad

08 February, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Over 550 Pakistanis are languishing in various jails of the United States, Europe, Russia, Central Asian states and African countries for different crimes, the government told the National Assembly on Friday.

On the last sitting of the eight session of the House, the assembly disposed of the order of the day with no protest and shouting that had marked the proceedings on Thursday when the House granted extension to two anti-terrorism and PPO ordinances. The figures of the Foreign Ministry laid before the House showed that as many as 116 Pakistanis are languishing in various prisons of the US, of whom 26 are in Houston, 13 in New York, 69 in Washington and eight in Los Angles.

Meanwhile, thirteen Pakistanis are incarcerated in Brussels, two in Prague, five in Budapest, Hungary, 113 in Rome, Italy, three in Dublin, Ireland, two in Berne, Switzerland, two in Stockholm, Sweden, 110 in The Hague, Netherlands, ten in Oslo, Norway, nine in Moscow, Russia, two in Bucharest, Rumania, eight in Baku, Azerbaijan, three in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, four in Kiev, Ukraine, four in Nairobi, Kenya, 17 in Tripoli, Libya, eight in Pretoria, South Africa, one in Tanzania and four in Harare, Zimbabwe.

In its written reply the Foreign Office stated that during 2010-11 around 90 Pakistanis were detained in the Gulf countries. Two Pakistanis detained in Malaysia were released after payment of fines and provision of legal aid. During the year 2011-12, missions in Kuwait, UAE and Saudi Arabia secured the release of 30 prisoners after payment of fines. These prisoners had completed their sentences and had not committed heinous crimes, but were still in jails due to non-payment of fines.

The government informed the House that these Pakistanis had been behind the bars for many years and have been detained for various crimes, including burglary, sexual assault, murder, immigration violations, illegal entry, terrorism, theft, robbery, human smuggling, administrative offence and drug trafficking. It was told that under bilateral agreements on transfer of offenders, 72 Pakistanis have been brought back home from Sri Lanka and 32 from Thailand.

On behalf of the Foreign Ministry, Federal Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said Pakistan releases Indian prisoners after completion of their sentences as per the bilateral agreement, but regretfully India does not reciprocate. Regarding a question about construction of a wall by India, he told the House that the neighbouring country plans to construct a 41-km-long and ten-meter-high wall on the Line of Control in Sialkot sector as well as a 189-km-long concrete wall on the Working Boundary.

Dastgir said that the Pakistan Rangers has warned the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) that New Delhi should refrain from building the wall, and India has not yet started work on it. He told the House that talks between India and Pakistan on the Siachen dispute are deadlocked.

Responding to a question, Parliamentary Secretary on Cabinet Secretariat Raja Javed Ikhlas said that the government plans to set up Pakistan Textile City and Karachi Garment City to promote export of textiles and. He said land for the Pakistan Textile City has been acquired. Ikhlas revealed that Rs 1.5 billion have been released by the Finance Division during the first six months of the current fiscal year to support the textile sector.

End.

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