ISLAMABAD: One hundred and two Pakistani prisoners in Thailand’s jails have threatened to commit suicide if their return to Pakistan under the transfer treaty signed by the governments of both countries is not implemented by next month, said Executive Director Global Foundation, Ulfat Kazmi, on Wednesday.
The director of the non government organisation for human rights informed that the Thai government had made an offer to exchange prisoners to all countries under the transfer treaty in 2001, adding that 710 prisoners from eighteen countries have been sent to their respective countries, but Pakistani prisoners are still waiting to be transferred. He said a delegation from the Pakistan Embassy visited the jails and compiled a report, adding that former prime ministers Mir Zafarullah Jamali and Shaukat Aziz also visited Thailand in April 2004 and May 2005 respectively.
The pact was finally signed in November 2007 by Pakistani Ambassador, Lt Gen (R), Khateer Hussain Khan and all matters were finalised in November 2009 regarding the prisoners’ return. However, the transfer of the prisoners remains at a standstill due to the non-completion of file work by the Pakistani government, even though the Pakistani community has promised to bear all expenses for the return of prisoners to their homeland. The director stated that five Pakistani prisoners have already lost their lives – Hanif Toor, Lajward Khan and Muddassar Iqbal committed suicide; Saeed Ahmed died after becoming a victim of Aids; and Mobin Rehman Gull died due to cardiac arrest. He urged The Supreme Court of Pakistan to take immediate notice and help implement the treaty.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 13th, 2010.