Updated: Sep 27, 2022 11:18 p.m IS
Islamabad [Pakistan]27 September (ANI): Already a “pioneer in human trafficking” to Europe, a senior Pakistani diplomat, Israr Husain, has now been charged with bribes for his alleged involvement in issuing visas to Europe for Pakistani citizens, media reports say.
The complaint was made by a senior Pakistani official who is also responsible for issuing visas. It’s worth noting that Husain has held top positions in the past, such as deputy European secretary at the foreign ministry in Islamabad and ambassador to the diplomatic office in Prague, a position from which he was forced to resign amid corruption allegations, Difesa Online reported.
This incident has sparked speculation that Islamabad diplomats are running a global scam using fake passports and visas for Europe. Pakistan has long been involved in such activities and thus this is not the first such incident.
These activities by Pakistanis are so widely spread across different European countries that the European Parliament has had to intervene to sound the alarm on the matter, Difesa Online reported.
For example, in 2020, European Parliament (MEP) Member Dominique Bilde accused Pakistan of leading a racket to grant fake passports and visas. As early as 2012, the then United Kingdom High Commissioner in Islamabad, Adam Thomson, described Pakistan as a “world leader in visa forgery”.
In addition, according to 2021 data, a total of 4,000 Pakistani citizens were reported for attempting to obtain passports using forged documents.
Husain could be accused of issuing illegal visas and residence permits in EU countries such as Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland and Spain. Aside from his alleged involvement in visa fraud, Husain has also been accused of masterminding human trafficking into Europe.
Other allegations include receiving 1.5 million rupees in bribes from Pakistani singers to “facilitate” their entry and stay in Prague. Husain is also accused of not fulfilling the agreements once he received the money.
A Czech ambassador to Pakistan then lodged a complaint, but investigations led to Husayn’s acquittal. The official responsible for the investigation will be a colleague of Husain, the media portal said.
In May 2020, Bosnian prosecutors investigated a significant number of visas (around 3,000) issued to Pakistani citizens for travel to Bosnia. The investigation was carried out by border police, who suspected Pakistanis were using Bosnian territory as a collection point and then sorting people to other European destinations.
The recent denunciation of Pakistani diplomats’ role in European visa fraud is just the “tip of the iceberg”, also given the sordid precedents of officials in smuggling weapons, counterfeit money and people, Difesa Online reported. (ANI)