Govt to take ‘big’ step against illegal immigration to Turkey from Pakistan


ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has decided to permanently resolve the long pending issue of people illegally immigrating to Turkey from Pakistan and also identified 12 persons who are involved with human trafficking networks in Turkey, Pakistan Today has reliably learnt.

Documents available with Pakistan Today disclose that Pakistan has pointed out the involvement of these 12 persons in human trafficking, who themselves are living in Turkey illegally, to the Turkish authorities. These people are working as a ‘mafia’.

Similarly, besides carrying out operations within the country against the involved persons, Pakistan has also applied for red warrants to bring them back to Pakistan. The red warrants will be issued in the first week of April 2019, according to the documents.

“Pakistan attaches great importance to this issue and wants to improve its image by forcing its policies and laws,” the documents further state while adding that the problem is serious and the government of Pakistan is ready to help Turkey.

Pakistan is ready to send a five-member team to Turkey to identify Pakistani nationals at Turkish detention centres and with the cooperation of Turkish authorities.

Further, a proposal for posting of a permanent officer from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) at the Consulate of Pakistan in Istanbul by July 2019 is also under consideration. The officer will assist in issues related to immigrants from Pakistan.

Also, for verification of Pakistani citizens, NADRA will establish a readmission system for Turkey at a cost of $703,000 without making any profit.

The documents further transpire that out of 250,000 illegal immigrants from all over the world captured in Turkey in 2018, approximately 50,428 were from Pakistan whereas, during this year, out of 29,200 illegal immigrants, the total number of Pakistanis is 4,000 while 671 have been repatriated in the last two months.

Similarly, there are 3130 Pakistani nationals out of a total of 7,600 who are being held in 21 detention centres in 18 provinces of Turkey.

Due to a manual verification process, it takes a lot of time to verify the national status of an immigrant while most of the immigrants do not share their details and the Turkish police face difficulties in extracting information from detainees as most of them are reluctant to share anything or they share misleading and false particulars.

Moreover, the Turkish police have the authority to detain illegal immigrants for only six months while the national status verification process usually takes longer than that.  Since Turkish authorities provide healthcare, education, and food to the detainees, the cost of these provisions is a big concern of the Turkish government which Pakistan hopes to help with.