Any European Governments have taken notice of the security-related issues with Pakistani illegal immigrants engaged in crime to make quick money. They also attend private conclaves organised by Islamist extremist bodies and get influenced there to take up violence, reports said.
The Pakistan Government is yet to probe a high-ranking diplomat who is at the heart of a human trafficking scandal, having facilitated visas from several European Embassies in Islamabad for 11 ineligible persons.
Dr Israr Husain was additional secretary (Europe) at the relevant time when he sent messages and emails supporting visa applications of those who either disappeared or sought asylum in different European cities, Pakistani newspaper The News International newspaper reported.
The newspaper in a report on August 2 quoted unnamed government officials who said this was a fit case for a thorough probe, but there had been no word from the government.
This is the latest development in a series of incidents spread over the last few years wherein, as per official Pakistani estimates, about 40,000 Pakistani nationals enter Europe every year, travelling via Iran and Turkey.
The European authorities are unable to treat activities by these illegals as petty crimes since, for instance, a group in Turkey was found taking pictures of women for local female trafficking rackets.
There have been reports of Pakistani diplomats and officials abroad themselves engaged in crime. In October 2018, Pakistani bureaucrat Zarar Haider Khan was caught on camera stealing the wallet of a Kuwaiti delegate.
Haider Khan was arrested after the incident which took place at the Pakistan-Kuwait joint ministerial meeting. On April 27 last year, two diplomats from Pakistan’s Embassy in South Korea were caught shoplifting at a store in Seoul and were arrested.
The latest scandal came to light on the basis of a complaint by a travel agent who submitted detailed correspondence.
He had arranged travel documents and the stay in Europe for the 11 Pakistani nationals who paid PKR 1.5 million each on the promise of getting jobs. On failing to get them, they sought asylum.
The newspaper quoted the travel agent/complainant, Tariq Javid Khan, who dated back his story to the time Husain was in the Czech Republic when he “made an offer to me to facilitate the issuance of visit, work and residency visas for Italy, the Czech Republic, Spain, Poland and South Korea."
"He also introduced me to the ambassadors of these countries in Pakistan.”
Reading through the complaint is like touring the world of human smuggling and the way it works.
Khan wrote to the government that he had a complete record of all payments made to Hussain in the form of bank receipts. Khan attached several of them as evidence, which has been seen by The News.
In addition, Khan mentioned having videos/ voice/ text messages exchanged between him and Husain. The visas couldn’t be issued and Husain refused to return the money and allegedly threatened Khan of dire consequences in case the word went out. However, in the meanwhile, another opportunity arose.
Husain requisitioned a group of Qawwal from Pakistan in Prague. Khan said he arranged their tickets, accommodations and all other expenses there in Prague.
Behind this show was an ulterior motive.
A group of 10 Pakistanis also accompanied the cultural troupe. As many as Rs.1.5 million were collected from each of them with the promise that they would get work and residency permits in Prague, according to Khan’s complaint.
Husain didn’t keep the promise and they were forced to seek asylum.
Khan then mentions Husain’s past behaviour that he came to know through his colleagues.
He alleged that Husain was “a persona non-grata in several of the countries in his previous postings.”
Khan has mentioned a few ambassadors who, he hopes, would give further credence to the charges he has levelled against Husain.
Please contact, his complaint reads, “the ambassador of Italy, the ambassador of the Czech Republic and the Ambassador of Spain “who will be happy to confirm Mr Hussain’s disorderly conduct and they will provide evidence regarding his continuous requests for the illegal issuances of visas.”
The ambassador of the Czech Republic in Pakistan and the ambassador of Pakistan in the Czech Republic, according to Khan, made a formal complaint to the foreign office regarding Hussain’s deceptive conduct.
“An investigation was carried out by the Foreign Office, however, Mr Husain was exonerated due to his batch-mates being the investigators of the case,” Khan wrote.
Incidentally, Khan is “doing the same” this time, The News observed, as Khan has since withdrawn his complaint in what seems a compromise and settlement, or even an attempt by the government to hush up the case.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered a fact-finding inquiry to determine the veracity of allegations levelled by Khan, he has withdrawn his complaint apparently in an out-of-office settlement with Husain. Whether the ministry will proceed further on this remains to be known, The News reported.
“Since the allegations are specific in nature and evidence has also been shared, it is yet to be seen what the ministry does. Ideally, it should hold an inquiry. The ministry can’t stop doing that on the whims of a complainant. Rather, he should also be investigated,” an official told The news.
Husain didn’t answer the questions sent by The News.
Dr. Sakariya Kareem is a regular contributor to Asian Lite International.