Tajik boys released ahead of deportation
ESHAWAR, June 2: Two Tajik boys were released from the Peshawar Central Prison on Monday on the orders of the Peshawar High Court.
The boys, Hafiz Ghafoor Bukhtiar and Mohammad Habib, were handed over to the chairman of World Prisoners Relief Commission, Jawed Ibrahim Paracha, who will make arrangements for their travel to Tajikistan.
Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Mr Paracha, who is also a former MNA, said that the boys would be taken to Islamabad for acquiring necessary documents and from there they would be deported to their home country.
A two-member bench of the high court had on May 28 accepted a habeas corpus petition filed by Mr Paracha on behalf of the two detained boys and ordered to deport them.
Mr Paracha claimed that both the boys had visited Pakistan for acquiring religious education and had remained in illegal detention for more than six months.
Bukhtiar, 16, and Habib, 15, were arrested last year by the Railway police on charges of illegal stay in Pakistan and were convicted by a local court.
Mr Paracha stated that after completion of their courses they were leaving for Karachi for onward journey to Tajikistan, but were arrested by the Railway police at the Peshawar Cantt Railway station on Oct 6, 2007. He added that they were charged under section 14 of the Foreigners Act.
Both the boys were convicted by a local court on Oct 17 and were sentenced to 11 days imprisonment with fine of Rs2,000 each in default of which they had to undergo two days more imprisonment. They completed their prison term on Oct 20 and since then they remained imprisoned.
Mr Paracha, who is known for contesting cases of foreigners, stated that large number of foreigners including Arabs and that of Central Asian origin had been languishing in different prisons across the country.
He alleged that around 500 foreigners were imprisoned in Rawalpindi Adiala Prison, whereas some others were imprisoned in Lahore.
He informed that they had also taken up cases of five Russians imprisoned in Adiala Prison under section 14 of the Foreigners Act.
Mr Paracha claimed that about nine foreigners had still been imprisoned in Peshawar Central Prison. He requested the government to issue orders for the release of all those foreign prisoners and he would make travelling arrangements for them for their onward journey to their respective countries.