ISLAMABAD -  The Senate Standing Committee on Interior on Wednesday asked the government not to give diplomatic assignments to two senior diplomats till the completion of an inquiry in a criminal misconduct case.

The committee directed that Pakistani High Commissioner designate to South Africa Sohail Khan should not be sent to his diplomatic assignment, while newly appointed Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India should be called backed for their alleged involvement in a criminal case of misconduct.

The committee gave the recommendation after Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director Mazharul Haq Kakakhel told the committee that investigations had found criminal misconduct on part of two diplomats who were working in Pakistan’s embassy to Bangkok in 2013.

He said that Sohail Khan then Pakistan’s ambassador to Bangkok in 2013 allegedly along with others officials working in the embassy repatriated a national of Myanmar to Pakistan through fake documents, while declaring him a Pakistani national.

The Myanmar national Ebrahim Koko was a narcotics smuggler and was serving his sentence in Bangkok.

Koko was transferred to Pakistan under “Agreement on Cooperation in the Transfer of Offenders” between Pakistan and Thailand.

The FIA director said that investigations were also conducted against other officials of the Pakistan’s Embassy in Bangkok namely Ataul Munim Shahid and ex-counsellor Amjad Amin.

He said that another official Mohammad Ashraf Bhatti was also under arrest and the investigation was continuing.

The director told the committee that Koko was currently in Adiala jail Rawalpindi, while Ambassador Sohail Khan got a bail from court and was posted to South Africa as high commissioner.

The committee also called foreign secretary to its next meeting to brief the committee on the departmental inquiry and disciplinary actions taken against the officials concerned.

Briefing the committee, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that that during the recent visits of the foreign minister, the regional countries including China, Iran and Turkey had supported Pakistan’s stance in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s anti-Pakistan speech.

He also dispelled the impression that China had changed its position following the recent BRICS Summit in which some Pakistan-based terrorist outfits were mentioned as source of concerns.

Iqbal said the said organisations were already proscribed in Pakistan.

He said that the same were also mentioned last year in the Heart of Asia Conference in India and Pakistan was taken on board.

 


 

Imran Mukhtar

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 14-Sep-2017 here.