ISLAMABAD: Interior Ministry officials on Wednesday said that they are still mulling over when to deport several of Osama bin Laden's family members back to their homeland.
“The documentation to deport OBL’s family has been completed,” said a senior official of the National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC). The cell works under the Ministry of Interior and is being headed by Brigadier (retd) Javed Lodhi, who is supervising the whole process. “They will most probably be deported under tight security tonight.”
A crucial meeting headed by Interior Minister Rehman Malik is under way to discuss all possible options that could lead to the deportation of Bin Laden’s family safely from Islamabad.
Officials familiar with the matter told The Express Tribune that NCMC officials are briefing the Interior Minister.
Officials of Saudi and Yemeni embassies are also visiting the Interior Ministry to complete the documentation process.
“We are in touch with the embassies of Saudi Arabia and Yemen and officials of the Interior Ministry in Pakistan for the early deportation of Bin Laden’s family,” said Aamir Khalil, their counsel.
Khalil told The Express Tribune that he would be able to confirm the family's deportation at 4:00pm today.
He argued that the Interior Ministry is responsible for deporting foreigners under Section III of the Foreigner Act 1946.
On Wednesday, Rehman Malik had told the media that the government was waiting for a reply from the concerned embassies regarding the handover of the three widows and two daughters.
Two of the wives are Saudi nationals and the third is from Yemen, while Bin Laden's daughters were born in Pakistan. The order for detention of the family given by the Islamabad District Court ended on the night of April 17.
The court had also ordered officials of the Interior and Foreign Affairs ministries to deport the family as soon as possible. It sentenced the widows and two of Bin Laden’s daughters to 45 days’ detention and imposed Rs50, 000 as fine on each, on charges of illegal entry in Pakistan.