LONDON: Image building is one of the several mandates of High Commissions, Consulates and overseas missions and their related government departments across the globe but unfortunately it’s entirely opposite for the Pakistan High Commission (PHC) and other Pakistani organizations in the United Kingdom. British Pakistani residents and PHC sources revealed serious misdemeanors in the ranks of Pakistan government’s overseas offices during their interview with News Lens Pakistan.
“In UK’s High Commission and Consulates, several officials from various Pakistan government’s departments come for a specific time as overseas postings and stay on permanently,” sources from PHC London and from Pakistani Community residing in UK claimed anonymously. The sources from the Pakistani British community especially requested anonymity fearing ill treatment from consulates for visa and NICOP, etc. requests. These sources claimed that officers from different government agencies including National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) paid huge bribes besides exerting political and bureaucratic pressures to land their tenure in Britain and later during their term of service or after completion of service period tenure disappeared or applied for asylums on political, religious or humanitarian grounds while illegally setting up NADRA Advice Bureaus using citizens’ data for money laundering purposes.
Pakistan’s overseas missions in United Kingdom becomes indirect launching pads for human trafficking and money laundering
The anonymous PHC sources made many revelations about the government officers who used the opportunity to serve in Britain as for slipping out as illegal citizen or apply for naturalization. Here are some of their alleged stories.
A former data entry operator (DEO) of Pakistan Consulate Birmingham Arif Jan is one of the several examples who came as NADRA’s DEO for a specific time. However, after completing his tenure he lodged an application for extension due to his wife’s is sick. During his extension, he applied for asylum and later got permanent residency in UK.
Similarly Nadeem Hussain who came as Manager NADRA in Pakistan Consulate in Glasgow completed his tenure and established links among community and didn’t return to Pakistan, becoming an illegal resident.
NADRA Manager in Bradford and NADRA DEO in London Shafqat had also come to UK officially for a specific time and after then slipped off and applied for asylum for getting permanent residency in UK.
This modus operandi is not only limited to male officials but common in female officials as well. Qaisra Bibi came to London as DEO and after completion of her tenure didn’t return and slipped illegally. Similarly, Farzana Kosar who came in the Army Wing also disappeared after completion of her tenure and applied for asylum.
Sources not wishing to be named in NADRA Islamabad disclosed that a long queue is in the waiting list for getting overseas postings especially in UK and the prospective candidates pay hundreds and thousands to get these overseas postings besides using political and bureaucratic influence. Their sole aim is to come to UK and never go back.
NADRA sources further said that all the above mentioned and other unreported incidents are in the knowledge of concerned seniors but nothing happens. “Complaints and reports are in files only and no action has been taken on the ground,” NADRA sources maintained.
Anonymous sources from PHC and Pakistani community in UK disclosed that NADRA has illegally set up Advice Bureaus and are directly involved in money laundering and sending millions of pounds every month out from UK. Irfan Qadir, pseudonym used to hide the British Pakistani individual’s identity who is also related to the advice bureaus, said, “earlier NADRA itself set up these Advice Bureaus across the UK on the directions of higher officials and trained several people for updating Pakistani nationals’ details in NADRA’s records through online services’. ‘Later PHC officials denied and declared these centres as illegal but still these Advice Bureaus are operational,’ said Irfan.
Irfan while describing the details said, “All Advice Bureaus have details of Pakistani nationals residing in UK including copies of their CNIC. Now they are using their details and send £ 2,000 out of UK against each CNIC details every month.” He further claimed that every Advice Bureau sends more than two hundred thousand of pounds every month out from UK and most of that money is coming to Pakistan. Irfan also made a claim, “these type of Advice Bureaus are operational across the UK and all the persons running these Advice Bureaus are regularly in contact with PHC London and Consulates in UK.”
Munir Ahmed Press Attaché at Pakistan High Commission London through an official email replied to the queries by News Lens Pakistan and said, “It has again come to the notice of the Pakistan High Commission London that some self-styled NADRA Advice Bureaus are still operating in various parts of the UK. They are charging money from the applicants for helping them submit their Online NADRA Applications.”
The High Commission clarified that these “NADRA Advice Bureaus” are unauthorised entities, not sanctioned by the High Commission or its Consulates. Since such Bureaus have no official authorisation to operate, the High Commission and its Consulates will not be responsible for loss of money or theft of information of the applicants. Some of the applicants are already facing difficulties in NICOP processing due to fudging in their applications by the above-mentioned Bureaus.
Munir also warned these illegal “NADRA Advice Bureaus” that any use of the logo or name of the Government of Pakistan would be illegal and liable to prosecution and advised the Pakistani community members, in their own interest, to beware of the situation. /-