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UK threatens to ban PIA flights over passport scandal

13 February, 2013

LONDON: The British government has reportedly threatened to place a ban on all PIA flights over reports of tens of Afghan nationals illegally flying into the Kingdom on Pakistani passports.

According to British officials, more than 50 Afghans bearing Pakistani passports landed in different UK cities from Karachi and Islamabad during the last two months. The British officials feared that Qaeda and Taliban terrorists could sneak into their country.

Sources said immigration officer of the British High Commission, acting on a tip-off on February 2, offloaded six Afghan citizens with their passports numbered as NRO159751, PH1158611, AJ0152881 and BK36877931 - from PIA's flight PK-785 set for London.

During the investigation, it was revealed that Afghan nationals had paid 25,000 Pounds each for sending them to the UK. FIA Additional Director Sajjad Haider was reportedly found involved in the scandal.

Haider is a very 'influential' person. A reference was filed in accountability court of Rawalpindi against Haider in 2004 and he was sentenced for three years. He appealed against the decision but high court did not give him relief. He was reinstated on his post through NRO on July 18, 2008, and was promoted to the seat of deputy director. After Supreme Court's decision in NRO case, his promotion was cancelled.

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