ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Wednesday said that 634 Pakistanis were detained in jails of South Asian countries for committing different offenses.
The Advisor told National Assembly during Question Hour that 242 Pakistanis are detained in Afghanistan, 42 in Bangladesh, 231 in India, 28 in Nepal, 82 in Sri Lanka and nine in Maldives.
He said the prisoners in Afghanistan have been held up on the offense of theft, overstay and scuffles while in India due to mistakenly crossing the border and overstay.
He stated the figure cited in the answer pertains to all classes of offense and Pakistani missions in respective countries extend all possible legal and consular assistance to detained Pakistanis for their liberation and repatriation.
The diplomatic mission officials abroad undertake regular visits to the captives and detainees and services of Pakistan Community Welfare and Education Fund is also applied where necessary to extend legal aid to Pakistanis detained abroad, he added.
He read the missions abroad also facilitate Pakistani prisoners with payment of lawyer’s fees, fines and the cost of repatriation of destitute Pakistan detainees and prisoners, upon completion of sentences or release from custody.
Answering another question, Sartaj Aziz said, there is a large Muslim diaspora, including from Pakistan in European countries who settled there since 1950s and most of them trace their pedigree to the early European colonies in Africa and Asia.
He said currently a certain trend of Right Wing populism and Islamophobia was evident in Europe and communities were resisting veiling and extremist activities.
The Advisor said the OIC is closely monitoring these trends and its member nations including Pakistan have been setting up these issues at appropriate forums, including bodies of the OIC and UN Human Rights Council.
The Advisor said that Pakistani missions in Europe also maintain close and active contact with Pakistani diaspora as well as interact with local host governments, parliaments and decision makers react to their misconceptions about the Muslims.
He called upon Pakistani people continue promoting real image of Islam of peace and brotherhood as the government also stressed to make world powers believe that it was not smart to link every extremist act with Islam.