I have got an employment in Zambia and have recently come here to live. My wife and daughter were supposed to come later after attending important family issues. They both went to Islamabad airport on April 12, 2018 to board the Emirates flight 615 at 12:00 am with one-wayt ickets. Zambia does not have an embassy in Pakistan hence only online visit or business visas are issued. These visas are then converted into residential permits through a brief process in Lusakafor those having specific job offers. 

The immigration staff at Islamabad airport asked my family to produce return tickets as a requirement for travel on visit visas. My wife immediately got the return tickets issued in their name through the travel agent though it was already passed midnight. The airlineEmirates staff got the returned ticket printed and the immigration officer cleared them for boarding. However, the immigration supervisor got “suspicious”. He inspected my wife and daughter’s passport for 30 minutes and told them that they had “tempered with some immigration stamps on the passport”. The two ladies pleaded with them that they had no reason to temper with passport for going to Zambia for which they already had electronic visas. The immigration supervisor, however, stopped them from boarding the aircraft and kept examining the passports bringing in his other colleagues as well. The officer later asked my daughter to dial my number in Lusaka and then spoke to me himself to ask for my passport details. Finally, after subjecting the exhausted ladies to a torture of three hours and making them a Tamasha at the airport, the passports and all stamps were found to be “genuine”. My family was later let to board the flight just a few minutes before the gates were closed. 

It’s a shame that immigration staff preys on helpless women. I had travelled on a one-way ticket only a couple of days back from the same airport but no questions were asked. They also, instead of adopting any scientific methods of checking documents, rely on pathetic tactics of exhausting the victims to extract information. In this case the immigration staff accused my family of forgery but when this was proven wrong they did not have the moral courage even to apologies let along compensate the victims. 


Lusaka, Zambia, April 16.