By Rahul Kumar
New Delhi, Aug 23: Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari cancelled his Europe visit on Monday due to massive flooding in Sindh. His European trip was to strengthen relations with Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The Europeans too wanted to discuss several threats posed by illegal and extremist Pakistanis.
Had all gone well, Bhutto would have been in Europe at a time when Pakistani diplomats are making news across the continent for sexual harassment as well as human trafficking. And, it is not just the diplomats, even Pakistani nationals in Europe are trending on social media for all the wrong reasons.
Last week Mirza Salman Babar Baig, Pakistan's consul general in Barcelona, was recalled from Spain and suspended over sexual harassment charges.
Pakistani newspaper The Nation said that a local employee of the Barcelona counsulate lodged a complaint related to sexual harassment against the Pakistani consul general. She separately filed a case with the Spanish justice department which forwarded the complaint to Pakistani ambassador Shujat Rathore in Madrid.
The complainant alleged that Baig used to send her messages which constituted harassment to her. She added that once the consul general even attempted a sexual assault on her in a Barcelona hotel. Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now conducting an investigation against Baig.
Just a few days before the Barcelona case, another Pakistani diplomat in Europe was under the scanner over allegations of human smuggling. Pakistani diplomat Dr Israr Husain, working as additional secretary in Europe, allegedly tried to persuade European embassies in Islamabad to stamp visas illegally for Pakistanis.
His cover was blown up by a former Pakistani government official-turned-visa-consultant who lodged a complaint against him with evidence in the form of forms, receipts, emails and bank documents, says Pakistani newspaper The News International.
Among his many illegal dealings, diplomat Husain had once tried to gain illegal entry for a group of Qawwals from Pakistan along with ten other Pakistanis. He promised to the entire group that he would even provide them work and residency permits in Prague - the capital of the Czech Republic. Husain collected up to Rs 1.5 million from each individual for the work permits but left them in the lurch. This group of Pakistanis eventually had to seek asylum.
In a detailed complaint against the diplomat, whistle blower Tariq Javid Khan says that due to his human smuggling activities, the diplomat is "a persona non-grata in several of the countries in his previous postings". He says that the ambassador of the Czech Republic in Pakistan and the Pakistani ambassador in Prague also made formal complaints to Pakistan's foreign office regarding Hussain's illegal conduct.
Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has ordered a fact-finding inquiry into the diplomat's human trafficking case as well.
If Islamabad's diplomats are caught tarnishing their country's reputation in Europe, Pakistani nationals too are not far behind. A couple of months back, "Pakistani Perverts" and "Pakistani Get Out" hashtags trended for weeks on Twitter. The reason-people in Turkey caught Pakistani men making inappropriate videos of children and women. Many Pakistanis were filmed stalking Turkish women in malls and streets.
The predatory attitude of Pakistani men did not go unnoticed in their home country either. The Express Tribune noted the disdain Turks expressed for Pakistani travelers in their country. The Istanbul Police arrested two Pakistan men for secretly taking photos of women and posting them online. In other cases, Turkish authorities apprehended Pakistanis for criminal activities as well.
Despite recent bonhomie between Turkey and Pakistan, the misdeeds of the Pakistani diaspora and the traveler has impacted relations between the two friends.
By now, almost all of Europe is concerned over Pakistani migrants' rising participation in extremism and violence. It has been estimated that illegal Pakistanis are indulging in violence almost every month somewhere in Europe. With almost 40,000 Pakistani men making their way into the continent every year, European governments and people are worried.
(The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)
( 672 Words)