ISLAMABAD: More than 400 Pakistanis are detained in five countries across Europe, the Middle East and South Asia, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said in a written reply to National Assembly yesterday.
The Special Cell on Overseas Pakistanis, in coordination with Pakistani missions abroad, is providing assistance to the detainees charged in cases of illegal immigration, theft and drug smuggling, the minister added.
Providing a breakdown, Khar said that there were 314 detainees in Kuwait, 60 in Hungary, 22 in Nepal, eight in Turkey and only one in Egypt.
She spoke about the release of 11 Pakistani detainees by Bangladesh and 471 Bangladeshi citizens by Pakistan in the last four years, charged for unauthorised entry.
During the same period, the Afghan government freed 240 Pakistanis from the custody of its intelligence agencies and police, while seven were released from the Bagram prison, the foreign minister said.
Since March 2008, Pakistan released 1,636 Indian fisherman and civilian prisoners, while India freed 767 Pakistanis, the foreign minister added.
However, when inquired about ‘alarmingly high’ number of detainees in Kuwait, the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Palwasha Behram Khan, could not provide details. She instead referred to 92 prisoners and said their freedom was secured by Pakistani missions in 2010-11.