ISLAMABAD: A policy paper defining standard operating procedure (SOP) on accepting deportees from other countries will be prepared and sent to the country’s foreign missions abroad in a week.
This was decided in a high-level meeting, chaired by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, who said that Pakistan would not be allowed to become a dumping ground for criminals from other countries.
What prompted the interior ministry to take this decision was a scam unearthed earlier this year where help was being provided for illegal transfers of international drug barons to Pakistan and releasing convicts brought to the country without completing their jail terms.
In March, Chaudhry Nisar said that more than 40 drug traffickers and peddlers had been brought illegally to Pakistan from Sri Lanka and Thailand. He added that one of these men had undertaken 19 foreign visits after entering Pakistan. The others, he claimed, had also gone abroad more than once.
Pakistan not to be allowed to become dumping ground of international criminals: Nisar
Only three of them were in jail while most of them were abroad. According to Chaudhry Nisar, all of them had been brought to Pakistan under an agreement on exchange of offenders. Under the agreement, Pakistani nationals have to complete a part of their sentence in the country where they are convicted and are brought to Pakistan to complete the remaining jail term.
“A powerful mafia within the interior ministry, in collusion with jail authorities and FIA functionaries, facilitates them to get free through fraudulent means to get their share out of the drug money,” said the minister.
During Monday’s meeting, the minister directed a clear SOP for return of deported Pakistanis. A committee was formed for preparing the SOP and interacting with the ministry of foreign affairs and Pakistani missions abroad.
The minister said a clearance should be sought from the ministry before issuing a temporary travel document to a Pakistani deported from any other country. He added that Pakistan would not accept any deportee till their nationality was determined and they had obtained the reasons behind their deportation.
The meeting was also informed that there was no link of Usman Ghani, a Pakistani recently deported from Italy, to the Army Public School attack in Peshawar or any other incident.
The minister directed the authorities concerned to complete the merger of the National Crisis Management Cell and the National Counter-Terrorism Authority soon.
Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2015