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September 16, 2012

UK deports 'illegal' immigrants to Pakistan on chartered flights

     London: The United Kingdom has, in seven chartered flights, deported to Pakistan 350 to 400 Pakistanis whose pleas to remain in Britain have been refused. The UK Border Agency (UKBA) refused to discuss such flights until they landed. These deportees are over and above those repatriated regularly under the MoU on managed migration between the two countries. Under the MoU, the maximum of 120 persons can be deported per month, reports the Daily Times. The British Home Office said it only removes people who face no risk of torture, but Freedom From Torture Freedom and Human Rights Watch both argue that the government has severely underestimated this possibility when it comes to returned Pakistanis, many of them have been routinely arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). The Association of Pakistani Lawyers (APL), a team of Pakistani origin lawyers in the UK , has expressed concerns over the chartered flights of deportees and swift "travel documents" to facilitate deportations. APL Chairman Barrister Amjad Malik expressed his reservations on MoU between both the countries and demanded that the said arrangements and "enforced repatriation" must be made public. "Interior Minister Rehman Malik must impress his British counterpart for regularisation of those immigrants, especially students who are affected due to sudden closure of their colleges to compensatory regularise them rather than their arrests, detention, repatriation, and threats of prosecution via chartered flight," he added. Barrister Malik feared that such "foggy" arrangements and "shady" deals may promote illegal actions and torture and Pakistan may directly or indirectly use torture to extract information on behalf of third parties, as has allegedly happened in the case of British permanent resident Bin Yam Mohammad and Rangzeb Ahmed over which courts have criticised Pakistani government, and intelligence agencies.
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