More than 350 Pakistanis Languishing in US Jails: Report
By Mohammad Bilal

Islamabad: More than 350 Pakistanis are languishing in US jails under allegations of various offences, ranging from terrorism to violation of immigration laws, revealed a document issued by the Foreign Ministry in response to questions by a senator.
According to the documents, a copy of which is available with DawnNews, 104 Pakistani citizens were serving prison sentences whereas 253 Pakistanis are under trial.
Majority of the prisoners were in jail for violation of immigration laws while others were accused of terrorism, theft, burglary and fraud.
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist, was sentenced to prison in 2007 for attacking US soldiers. Khalid Awan was facing imprisonment since 2006 for assisting an Indian terrorist organization, ShehwarMateen and Abdul Naseer were imprisoned for allegedly planting a bomb, revealed the report.
The ministry presented a list of the prisoners, along with the nature of allegations levelled against them.
The report clarified that as soon as diplomatic missions are informed about the arrest of a Pakistani national, immediate consular access is requested and the relevant mission remains in contact with the national in prison and detention centers.
The ministry also claimed that regular consular visits are also arranged, adding that the missions also provide possible legal assistance, if requested.
"Most of the under trial prisoners/detainees usually sign a waiver at the time of their arrest surrendering their right to consular access with the intention to exhaust all possible legal avenues to stay in the United States even after completion of their sentences," the report said. – Dawn





Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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