The activities of illegal Pak migrants had seriously damaged the reputation of Pakistanis in South Africa, but more than the illegal human trafficking operators, it was the role of Pakistan’s own officials employed in its various missions abroad which is tarnishing the country’s image.

The unchecked movement of illegal migrants from Pakistan to South Africa during the past few years has turned into a nightmare for the South African government, reported The Geneva Daily.

Aided by a syndicate of unscrupulous elements and corrupt officials of Pak mission in South Africa and neighbouring countries, the practice appears to have taken deep roots in the country.

Pakistani citizens using legal channels are now bearing the brunt of measures taken by the host government to contain the illegitimate flow.
The South African government was apparently aware of the illegal channels being used by the syndicates in Eswatini and Mozambique and has responded in the form of close scrutiny of the visa applications of Pak citizens.

Activities of illegal Pak migrants had seriously damaged the reputation of Pakistanis in South Africa which has led to an increase in the rejection rate of their visa requests to visit the country.

Moreover, Pakistan’s own official’s deep involvement in these syndicates was making the task of enforcement agencies difficult in tackling the menace, reported The Geneva Daily.

Its agencies discovered an illegal immigration network in 2020 which was facilitated by a Pakistani diplomat posted in neighbouring country, Zimbabwe.
The case involved an official of the Pak embassy in Harare named Waqas Ahmad who was found helping three Pakistani nationals to illegally enter South Africa through the border town, Beitbridge. The matter came to light following the arrest of these individuals in Zimbabwe, reported The Geneva Daily.
South African media had also indicated the possible involvement of more Pak diplomats in smuggling individuals into South Africa.

The corrupt practices of the Pakistani diplomats are not limited to immigration. Recently a major dispute emerged between the two countries over conduct of some top officials posted in Pak embassy in South Africa.

According to a report published in Pak based Geo News (June 17, 222), the South Africa’s revenue department launched a probe against the Pakistani embassy amid reports of misuse of the diplomatic privileges by them.

The embassy officials were found to be importing vehicles for official purposes before selling them illegally in the market. Ironically, the top layer of embassy officials including Pakistani Ambassador to South Africa Mazhar Javed and former Deputy Ambassador Adnan Javed were implicated in the scandal, reported The Geneva Daily

Diplomatic ties between the two countries were strained after South African authorities decided to impose an unannounced ban on the transfer and registration of vehicles of Pakistani embassy in the country.

However, in place of initiating own inquiry into the matter, the government of Pakistan had resorted to impose a counter ban on the registration and transfer of vehicles of South African Embassy in Islamabad. (ANI)