Govt wants 499 Pakistanis in Iraqi prisons returned



Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said on Friday that the Pakistani embassy in Iraq had been pursuing repatriation cases of 499 Pakistanis imprisoned in Iraq.

Replying to a question during question hour at the National Assembly, the advisor said that these Pakistanis had been imprisoned in Iraq for overstay their visas after visiting the holy places.

Giving details of the repatriation, he said that upon the receipt of information, the embassy pursues these cases and seeks consular access from the local foreign office to ascertain their welfare and arrange legal assistance. He said that the Iraqi police authorities refer the case of Pakistani prisoners to the Qazi courts, which decide their deportation to Pakistan.

To another question, Sartaj Aziz said that four Pakistanis were imprisoned in Philippines, including three arrested by police from Quezon city on December 2013.

He said that one prisoner had been imprisoned in Puerto Princesa City Jail, Palawan on charges of human trafficking and illegal recruitment since February 2010.

He said that all these Pakistanis were on trial and the Pakistani embassy was in contact with the jail authorities and the detainees.

The advisor said that the criminals who are repatriated to Pakistan are monitored by the country’s law enforcement agencies to check their involvement in similar incidents in future.