Migrants from Pakistan prefer jails abroad to returning home, moot told – Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The majority of illegal Pakistani immigrants prefer to remain incarcerated and do low-level jobs in the hope of obtaining legal status abroad instead of opting to return home, the foreign ministry said Friday to a parliamentary committee .

"They are mostly asylum seekers, who have torn their passports and, despite facing extreme difficulties in prisons, refuse voluntary repatriation or any assistance from Pakistani missions," said Syed Zahid Raza of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs while informing the Senate Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistan and Human Resources Development.

The official was talking particularly about the approximately 4,000 Pakistanis imprisoned in the jungle migrant camp in Vucjak, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The camp is about 400 kilometers from the Pakistani mission.

The committee had met to discuss human trafficking, which its members believed was increasing, which caused shame to the country. Members had reason to believe that travel agencies were involved in human trafficking and ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to take legal action. The Committee reported that the Overseas Pakistani Ministry had sent some 400 cases of human trafficking to the FIA ​​for investigation.

Raza told the committee that the Bosnian government was not well funded and that he did not have the resources to care for the inmates. The exact number of Pakistani immigrants there has not yet been confirmed.

“Most of them are waiting for any opportunity to reach continental Europe. Only a few are taking advantage of the voluntary return option, ”he said.

Similarly, members were informed that some 50,000 Pakistani immigrants were waiting for repatriation from Turkey. About 20,000 may have returned, FIA director Syed Farid Ali said.

The FIA ​​figures of Pakistani immigrants awaiting repatriation from Turkey differed from the figures given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The FIA ​​said there were about 30,000 Pakistanis stranded in Turkey.

The committee president, Hilalur Rehman, argued that members had been receiving complaints that Pakistanis were stranded abroad and needed assistance.

"Many licensed travel agencies are involved in human trafficking, selling individuals to gangs abroad that force immigrants to do jobs with low wages," he said.

He directed the ministry to offer help to Pakistanis, especially those imprisoned in Bosnia. "They are Pakistanis and it is the duty of interested government departments to take care of them and take them home safely," Rehman said.

The committee ordered the FIA ​​to present FIRs against travel agents involved in human trafficking.

Published on Dawn, November 9, 2019

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1515748/migrants-from-pakistan-prefer-jails-abroad-to-returning-home-moot-told

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