Pakistan suspends deportation agreement with EU over misuse

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Islamabad (dpa) – Pakistan has temporarily suspended a 2010 agreement with European Union countries that allows them to deport its citizens entering the continent illegally, citing “blatant misuse,” the Interior Minister said late Friday.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Khan said Pakistan was pulling out of the accord with all European nations except Britain because they often deport Pakistani immigrants labelling them as terrorists.

“This is not acceptable,” Khan said in a statement, “We will not let planes carrying deported immigrants land in future.”

Khan said the agreement was also aimed at letting Pakistani authorities verify the identity of immigrants before their deportation, a condition allegedly not being fulfilled by EU countries now.

“Pakistanis travelling illegally to any Western country are to be deported after proper verification,” he said. “But most of these countries are deporting people without that.”

Khan said 90,000 people worldwide were sent back to Pakistan last year alone.

Thousands of Pakistanis take risks to reach Europe every year, hoping for a better life and travelling dangerous land and sea routes via Iran, Turkey and Greece, according to official reports.

Pakistani agencies have launched a crackdown against suspected people smugglers but experts said their efforts were too little against what seemed to be formidable global networks.

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