A representational image of a person using a laptop. — AFP/File


A representational image of a person using a laptop. — AFP/File

LONDON: Official sources have said that a database exists on those overseas Pakistanis who are allegedly involved in anti-state activities over political differences and action likely to be taken against them at the right time.

The trusted sources revealed this to Geo News after Dr Mohammad Faisal, High Commissioner of Pakistan to the United Kingdom (UK), said that no list of overseas Pakistanis exists for involvement in the alleged anti-state activities and that all such news issued from the government sources previously were fake.

Speaking to Pakistani media here on Tuesday, Dr Mohammad Faisal claimed that there was no list and “it was fake news that there is a list in place. Give me one example where someone travelling from overseas has been arrested in Pakistan or questioned. Every country has its difficult phases and what’s happening in Pakistan is nothing new and it happens like this in every country”.

The authoritative sources have said that a database does exist of those Pakistanis who have been involved in attacking the institutions of Pakistan since the ouster of Imran Khan from power in April 2022 and running campaigns against Pakistan’s institutions.

When asked further for the High Commissioner’s version for this story, a spokesperson of the Pakistan High Commission said the new high commissioner was speaking only about the on-arrival arrest list and nothing else. The spokesman said: “There is no such list which is for the arrest on-arrival of overseas Pakistanis.”

In July it was reported that Pakistan authorities have prepared a list of over 500 overseas Pakistanis suspected to be involved in May 9 incidents and for campaigning against Pakistan’s national institutions. There have been disputed news about the list but the trusted sources in the system have said that several overseas Pakistanis mainly from UK, USA, Canada, Europe and some Middle Eastern countries have been profiled in the database that carries details of those who have been allegedly campaigning against the state of Pakistan and its institutions.

The sources said the government authorities have collected data of individuals involved in launching anti-state propaganda and activities through social media. This data is based on the participation of these individuals in activities deemed to be anti-state. Prominent in the data are those Pakistanis who have made false allegations against the heads of institutions and vilified them in public with baseless allegations, according to the sources.

The sources said that around a dozen Pakistanis who were involved in May 9 attacks on military installations have fled to the UK and other countries and their movements are being monitored. None of them have returned to Pakistan since May 9 and most are believed to be currently residing in the UK.

Dr Faisal said that no one had been arrested in Pakistan but Geo News has learnt that at least half a dozen British Pakistanis were stopped and questioned in Pakistan in recent months over their social media posts and attendance in public rallies. At least three of them submitted affidavits before the authorities and secured their release.

Previously, Federal Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar also said that the government was not considering any action against overseas Pakistan as they are Pakistan’s valuable assets.

Tarar had said in London the government was “taking action but only against those who set fire to government properties”.

He said overseas Pakistanis had every right to “participate in the political process in Pakistan,” but they should avoid getting involved in “hasty and thoughtless actions that can be detrimental to democracy and the democratic process”.

Dr Faisal assumed his role as Pakistan High Commission London around two weeks ago. He holds degrees of MBBS, MSc, LLM and Masters in Political Science.


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