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UK, Pakistan, ink deal on repatriation of criminals, immigration offenders

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London | August 18, 2022 3:26:54 AM IST
The United Kingdom and Pakistan on Wednesday signed an agreement that would enable London to repatriate Pakistani criminals, failed asylum seekers and immigration offenders.

The deal, which was finalised by the previous Imran Khan government late last year, however, is not an extradition treaty, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

The agreement would not have much bearing on former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is living in London under the pretext of medical treatment, the report added.

The British Home office said the new agreement intends to remove Pakistani nationals with no legal right to remain in the UK.

The UK government said UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has signed a major new agreement which will return foreign criminals and immigration offenders from the UK to Pakistan. This is the fifth returns agreement the Home Secretary has signed in 15 months delivered to the British public through the New Plan for Immigration.

On Wednesday, Priti Patel met with the Interior Secretary, Yousaf Naseem Khokhar and the Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK, Moazzam Ahmad Khan, to sign the reciprocal agreement.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "I make no apology for removing dangerous foreign criminals and immigration offenders who have no right to remain in the UK. The British public have quite rightly had enough of people abusing our laws and gaming the system so we can't remove them."

Patel said this agreement, which she is proud to have signed with Pakistan, shows the New Plan for Immigration in action and the government delivering.

"Our new Borders Act will go further and help end the cycle of last-minute claims and appeals that can delay removals," she added.

Pakistan nationals make up the seventh largest number of foreign criminals in prisons in England and Wales totalling nearly 3 per cent of the foreign national offender population.

The agreement underlines both countries' ongoing commitment to tackling the issue of illegal migration and the significant threats it poses to both nations. The agreement also includes ongoing work to improve and expand UK-Pakistani law enforcement cooperation.

Since January 2019 the UK has removed 10,741 foreign national offenders globally (to year ending December 2021). (ANI)

 
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