NA revelations : ‘257,433 Pakistanis deported since 2012’

ISLAMABAD: 

Around 257, 433 Pakistani immigrants have been deported from countries around the world over the past four years, the lower house of parliament was informed on Friday.

Responding to a question, State Minister for Interior Affairs Balighur Rehman informed the National Assembly that 257,433 Pakistanis have been deported since January 2012.

The minister revealed that an estimated 55,279 Pakistanis were deported in 2012, 67,330 in 2013, 78,409 in 2014 and 56,415 were sent home this year.

In response to another query, Rehman told the house that the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) is in the process of setting up centres in key US cities, which will enable expats to process their National Identity Cards online.  The minister said registration centres were being set up in Malaysia, Bahrain, Canada and Spain to facilitate overseas Pakistanis.

Freshwater turtles

Customs officials have seized over 1,964 freshwater turtles in Pakistan over the last two years, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar informed the National Assembly. The finance minister said that the smuggling of freshwater turtles is on the rise in the country and a large number were taken in custody by customs officials.

He revealed that a consignment of dried turtle meat worth Rs616 million was seized by customs authorities in Karachi. All around the world, tortoises and freshwater turtles are in crisis.

Of the 300 species of tortoises and freshwater turtles alive today, experts agree that 200 are under serious threat. However, despite international regulations aimed at protecting the species, illegal trade in meat and shells continues to flourish in Pakistan.

Restrictions on the sale of these endangered species are openly flouted, and the market continues to grow. Earlier this year, customs officials seized the meat of over 4,000 freshwater turtles being smuggled outside Pakistan.

Petrol smuggled

Similarly, the house was told that Pakistan foiled attempts to smuggle petroleum from Iran. Parliamentary Secretary on Finance Rana Afzal told the house border authorities seized 9 million litres of petrol being smuggled from Iran.  The value of the consignments was estimated at Rs620 million, he said while responding to a question posed by Pakistan Peoples Party lawmaker Nafisa Shah.

Afzal said it was difficult to rein the illegal trade along the 900-kilometre border that Pakistan shares with Iran.  In a bid to curb the illicit trade, he said 393 oil tankers have been seized, 52 FIRs registered, and 123 persons detained by the customs force.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2015. 

The post NA revelations : ‘257,433 Pakistanis deported since 2012’ appeared first on The Express Tribune.

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