Sat, 10 Dec 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], September 27 (ANI): Already a "mastermind of human trafficking" to Europe, a top Pakistani diplomat, Israr Husain, has now been accused for his alleged involvement in issuing visas to Pakistani citizens for Europe in exchange for bribes, media reports said.

The complaint was lodged by a senior Pakistani official who is also in charge of issuing visas. It is worth noting that Husain has held top ranks in the past, such as assistant secretary for Europe at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad and ambassador at the diplomatic office in Prague, a position from which he had to resign following allegations of corruption, Difesa Online reported.

This incident has triggered speculations about whether Islamabad diplomats are carrying out a global scam of fake passports and visas for Europe. Pakistan has long been involved in such activities and therefore this is not the first incident of its kind.

These activities by Pakistanis are spread across various European countries so much so that the European Parliament had to intervene to sound an alarm on the pertinent issue, Difesa Online reported.

For Instance, in 2020, Member of European Parliament (MEP) Dominique Bilde accused Pakistan of leading a racket to grant falsified passports and visas. Already in 2012, the then High Commissioner for the United Kingdom in Islamabad, Adam Thomson, had called Pakistan "the world leader in counterfeiting visas."Furthermore, as per the data in 2021, a total of 4,000 Pakistani citizens were reported for trying to obtain passports using forged documents.

Husain could be held accused of the issuance of illegal visas and residence permits in EU countries such as Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland and Spain. Apart from his alleged involvement in the visa scam, Husain has also been accused of being the mastermind of human trafficking to Europe.

Among the other accusations is receiving the 1.5 million rupees bribe from Pakistani singers to "facilitate" their entry and stay in Prague. Husain is also accused of not fulfilling the agreements once he receive the money.

Following, a Czech ambassador to Pakistan registered a complaint however, the investigation led to Husain's acquittal. The official in charge of the investigation would be a colleague of Husain, the media portal said.

In May 2020, the Bosnian State Attorney's Office was investigating a considerable number of visas (around 3,000) issued to Pakistani citizens to travel to Bosnia. The investigations were conducted by the Border Police which suspected that Pakistanis were using the Bosnian territory as a collection point and then sorting people to other European destinations.

The latest denunciation of the role of Pakistani diplomats in the European visa scam is only the "tip of the iceberg", also given the sordid precedents of officials in the smuggling of weapons, counterfeit currency and human beings, Difesa Online reported. (ANI)

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