BAJAUR: Pakistan Peoples Party local leaders on Monday demanded of the federal caretaker government to bring back the 400 Pakistani migrants, including 60 from Bajaur tribal district, who have been detained in Libya for last four months
Addressing a news conference at the Bajaur Press Club here, PPP former district president Aurangzeb Khan, Haji Khan Bahadar and Eng Hifzoor Khan pointed out that these Pakistanis were arrested by the Libyan authorities on July 31 when they were trying to enter Europe.
Flanked by the family members of the several detainees, the PPP leaders said the Pakistanis were arrested from the warehouses of human smugglers, where they were kept for entering Europe.
The PPP leaders said according to media reports and family members, all the migrants were later shifted to prisons to be deported to their country after completion of formalities. They claimed all the formalities had been completed in September and the Libyan government was willing to return them back to the homes instantly.
However, they alleged the Pakistani authorities were not willing to allow them back as they were suspicious about their nationalities.
The PPP leaders said the Pakistani government, especially the interior ministry and the Foreign Office officials, didn’t permit their return as they believed migrants were not Pakistani citizens.
They asserted that the migrants were Pakistani citizens as they possessed Pakistani passports and other documents.
They said it was the job of Pakistani mission in Libya and the Foreign Office officials to investigate the detainees’ nationalities when they were arrested.
They said no official of the Pakistani embassy in Libya had even met the migrants to ascertain their identities.
The PPP leaders demanded the caretaker prime minister and foreign and interior ministers to ensure early and safe return of the immigrants to their homeland.
They also demanded the army chief and PPP chairman Bilwal Bhutto Zardari to play their due role in early return of Pakistani citizens to their country.
Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2023