Pak Foreign Minister calls for fair treatment of UK-based Pakistanis

Islamabad, Nov 5(ANI): Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has met British High Commissioner Adam Thomson in Islamabad after a report found that Pakistani immigrants are being discriminated by the UK Border and Immigration Agency (UKBA).

"The Foreign Minister strongly advised the British government against taking any precipitate actions against Pakistanis residing in the United Kingdom," the Dawn quoted a Foreign Ministry statement, as saying.

It added that Pakistan's High Commissioner in London had also been instructed to ensure that rights and welfare of Pakistanis in Britain must be fully safeguarded.

Earlier, it was reported that, in different search operations, the UKBA had arrested a number of illegal immigrants of Pakistani origin and fined their British Pakistani employers millions of rupees.

UKBA arrested seven illegal immigrants during a crackdown operation at a TV studio, being run by Liaqat Malik, who is a close relative of Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

During a raid at two joints of the popular curry house, Akbar's, 25 illegal workers were arrested. Police found a number of Pakistani, Afghan, Iranian and Iraqi nationals suspected to be working illegally there.

A notice of potential liability has been served on the restaurant, which could be hit with a 250,000 pounds fine - 10,000 pounds for each worker - if found guilty of breaching immigration laws.

In another incident, a kebab shop owner faces a fine of up to 20,000 pounds after being caught employing illegal immigrants.

Two Pakistanis were discovered working at the Kebana takeaway in Milkstone Road, Rochdale near Manchester during the raid. They were arrested on suspicion of having overstayed their visa and working illegally and taken to Rochdale police station for further questioning.

The crackdown started before the visit of British Home Secretary Theresa May to Pakistan last month where she and Interior Minister Rehman Malik renewed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) empowering authorities from both sides to curb illegal immigration. (ANI)

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