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ISLAMABAD: The British government has accelerated group deportation of Pakistanis through chartered flights with help from Islamabad.
Official figures show there is almost 100 percent increase in the number of people deported and the figure is set to increase this year.
Early this year, Islamabad assured London that it would accept illegal immigrants if removed by chartered planes.
In 2009, 1,189 people were deported, while 858 were refused entry at ports. In 2010, 999 were deported and 419 refused entry and in 2011, 1,466 were removed from Britain and 379 refused entry. This year so far 1,861 have been deported and 283 refused entry. Figures for this year’s first quarter are yet to be compiled but reports suggest that an unprecedented number of people will be deported.
British authorities last year spent £9m on chartering 37 flights. Three chartered flights left for Pakistan on March 5, 13 and 16, carrying hundreds of people to Islamabad.
In the last five years, the British authorities have spent £133m, on average £5000 on each individual, to deport them. A Pakistan High Commission spokesman in London said that since a memorandum of understanding was signed, Pakistani immigrants had become a target.
He said since November 2011, around 15 chartered flights had taken Pakistanis to Islamabad. He said the mission had deputed an officer to visit jails and detention centres on a regular basis for the welfare and early release of prisoners. Internews