ISLAMABAD: Spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior has clarified that 09 alleged criminals sentenced to various terms in Thailand, mostly on drug charges, were transported to Pakistan in total violation of rules and clearly laid down procedure as outlined in the Agreement on the transfer of offenders between Pakistan and Thailand.
In a statement on Thursday, the Spokesperson said that as per Article 6(2) of the Agreement, the cases for transfer of offenders are initiated by the receiving state (in this case Pakistan). He said that the Ministry of Interior is the only authorized Ministry to initiate such cases as per the agreement. The Spokesperson said that no such request was initiated by Ministry of Interior at any stage.
Further adding, he said that as per Article 6(3) of the said Agreement, the Transferring state is obliged to provide the Receiving state, among others, with the following information;
1) a statement of the facts upon which the sentence was based;
2) the termination date of the sentence, the length of time already served by the offender and any credits to which he is entitled on account of work done, good behavior, pretrial confinement or other reasons;
3) certified copies of the judgment(s), sentence concerning the offender and the law on which they are based .
Spokesperson said that on 08 September 2014, a letter was received from Pakistan Mission in Bangkok, in clear violation of laid down procedure as per the agreement, that the Government of Thailand has decided to transfer 08 prisoners from Thailand to Pakistan. On 02 February 2015, another letter was received from the Mission for the transfer of the ninth convict.
The Ministry of Interior in a letter to Ministry of Foreign Affairs dated 25 February 2015 responded in the following words;
“it is stated that the conditions required under Article 6 of the Agreement have not been met. So far no details about prisoner are available in the province to which he belongs. Sentence details, cost of the transfer etc, consent of the offenders, consent of the receiving state all are missing.
It is therefore requested that contact our Mission and bring to their notice the transfer of the offender, pre-requisites, as per agreement. Before these conditions and pre-requisite are met, this transfer may be stopped.”
Inspite of all this, 08 convicts escorted by two officials of Pakistan Embassy Bangkok landed in Pakistan without due documentation, proper papers or the relevant record.
This flagrant playing with the rules has led to those eight convicts going in a writ petition before the High Court that they are being held without any record and should be set free.
It was this ludicrous situation which led Ministry of Interior to write a letter to Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday asking it to hold an inquiry and take action against their officials who had made mockery of not only the law but also of the procedure laid down in the sovereign Agreement.