News Desk |
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Tuesday that Britain wants Pakistan to take back thousands of Pakistanis who have overstayed their visit visa in the United Kingdom and have no status but cannot be sent back to Pakistan without a proper treaty.
At a press conference in Pakistan High Commission, Qureshi said he recently discussed the re-admission treaty so that the over stayers and others living illegally could be sent back to Pakistan. Qureshi said signing this treaty will be helpful for those Pakistanis who apply for the visit but their visas are rejected because Britain is cautious of visa applicants.
Pakistan appreciates the technical assistance and support being provided by the UK govt under the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue. Such measures will help both countries effectively counter global terrorism, money laundering & illegal migration. @sajidjavid pic.twitter.com/k8V3Yyww6u
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) June 17, 2019
“We have initiated dialogue on this,” Qureshi told a press conference at the Pakistan High Commission in London on Tuesday. “This will help those who are genuine visa applicants. This will help Pakistan.”
Qureshi noted that an extradition treaty is also needed between Pakistan and Britain, which he said has been one of the “biggest obstacles” for the two countries. He stressed the need to build on a prisoner swap arrangement that already exists.
We have found a way and that’s to amend the Pakistan Penal Code which will address the concerns of Britain, he said.
He said amending the PPC will help Pakistan in seeking the extradition of people it wants.
Answering a question, Qureshi said he had no ambition to seek any other role other than what he already has when asked if he is seeking to become the prime minister or take over the Pakistan Thereek-e-Insaaf (PTI). “I am content with what I have. I know about my position and I am fine with that.”
Tensions flared with Pakistan over the summer of 2018 when Britain, citing the lack of an extradition treaty, declined to deport former Pakistani Finance Minister Ishaq Dar back to his home country, where he was wanted in connection to a graft probe.
Though reliable estimates are notoriously difficult to obtain for illegal immigrant populations, a 2007 London School of Economics study estimated there were some 533,000 “irregular” or undocumented immigrants in the UK. The country also has the largest Pakistani expat population in Europe, totalling around 1.2 million legal residents, but it is not clear how many currently live in the UK without visas.