ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will formally contact the International Criminal Police Origination (ICPO) to make it cognisant of Afghan refugees who obtained passports using forged CNICs.
“Under its international obligations, Islamabad has to apprise Interpol about all such passports holders,” Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali told The Express Tribune. It is obvious that they obtained Pakistani passports to have their travel documents stamped with visas of various foreign countries, he added.
Furthermore, before handing over the information to Interpol, Pakistan will declare all such passports invalid. “Apart from Afghans, this action will also be applicable on all other foreigners who obtained passports using forged CNICs, he said. All this information is to be communicated through Interpol to all countries and their border police for further action, he said.
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Regarding punitive measures, the attorney general said the government will also confiscate any property purchased in the country by such foreigners, cancel their driving and arms licences and freeze any bank accounts opened by them. The relevant laws restrain refugees and illegal foreigners from purchasing land, property or maintaining bank accounts in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, a few leading Afghan businessmen told The Express Tribune that their bank accounts had been frozen in Peshawar and Quetta where a majority of them are concentrated.
The exact number of unlawful passports is yet unknown, however, an official in the Ministry of Interior believed the figure was in the thousands. Apart from passport offices, similar travel documents were issued by Pakistani diplomatic missions abroad.
According to a director general of National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), who wished not to be named, it is the government’s well stated policy to block all fake CNICs obtained by foreigners irrespective of their nationalities. In this regard, a well-planned process is underway to expel hundreds of foreigners from India, Bangladesh, Burma, Somalia, Iran, Iraq and Africa staying illegally in different cities, mainly Karachi.
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Furthermore, assistant director of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Quetta Sultan Khan said that a large number of Bangladeshi and Iraqi nationals, destined for Karachi, had entered Pakistan via Afghanistan and Iran a few years ago. In 2013-14, hundreds of such foreigners were arrested by FIA in Quetta and sent to prisons in Karachi to be deported. The official also said that many illegal foreigners, particularly from India arrived here on a valid visa but did not return to the country of their origin after expiry of visa.
Courtesy : Express Tribune