AFP Islamabad, Pakistan
Aug 07, 2016, 10.24 AM
An American national, who was blacklisted and deported from Pakistan in 2011 after he was allegedly caught spying on sensitive installations, has been arrested after he arrived at the airport here and got clearance from immigration officials.
Matthew Craig Barrett, who was barred from entering the country after being deported on charges of espionage, arrived at Benazir Bhutto International airport in the morning yesterday and was granted entry by the immigration officials.
When it came to the notice of interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, he ordered the arrest of Barrett, and suspended immigration officials at the airport for negligence, according to a statement by the ministry.
Barrett was later picked up by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and police officials in a joint raid on a guest house in the capital and an FIR was lodged against him for violation of immigration laws, the statement said.
The interior minister has ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the grant of a Pakistani visa to Barrett, the Dawn reported.
A case has also been registered against two FIA immigration officials, Sub-Inspector Raja Asif and his son Ehteshamul Haq. Ehtesham has been arrested, while raids were being conducted to arrest his father, police sources said.
The minister has already suspended an assistant director of the FIA as well as the immigration officials who were on duty when Barrett was cleared by authorities at the airport.
He has also issued directions for the formation of a joint investigation team for a thorough probe into the matter.
The interior ministry said that action would also be initiated against officials at the Pakistani consulate in Houston, who were responsible for issuing a visa to Barrett.
A spokesperson for the US embassy in Islamabad told the daily that the Privacy Act prohibited him from releasing any information about the American citizen without his consent.