• Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Priti Patel inks deal to speedily deport illegal Pakistani migrants

The UK has signed similar deals with Serbia, Nigeria, Albania and India.

Home Secretary Priti Patel attends a reception at Clarence House in London to mark 50 years of Refuge on January 25, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Victoria Jones-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

British home secretary Priti Patel has signed a deal with Pakistan to deport criminals and failed asylum seekers to their home country.

The Returns Agreement was signed by Patel and Pakistan home secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar and the country’s High Commissioner to the UK, Moazzam Ahmad Khan in London last week.

The agreement will target Pakistan criminals, failed asylum seekers, visa overstayers, and immigration offenders to facilitate their return to their home nation, media reports said.

“I’m proud to have signed a new landmark agreement with our Pakistani friends to return foreign criminals and immigration offenders from the UK to Pakistan. I make no apology for removing dangerous foreign criminals and immigration offenders who have no right to remain in the UK,” said Patel.

“The British public has quite rightly had enough of people abusing our laws and gaming the system so we can’t remove them. This agreement, which I am proud to have signed with our Pakistani friends, shows the New Plan for Immigration in action and the government delivering.”

The UK has signed similar deals with Serbia, Nigeria, Albania and India, over the last 15 months.

According to the UK Home Office data, Pakistan nationals make up the seventh largest number of foreign criminals in prisons in England and Wales, totalling nearly 3 per cent of the foreign national offender population, around 2,500 prisoners.

The British government claimed that the new deal underlines both countries’ ongoing commitment to tackling the issue of illegal migration.

From January 2019 to the year ending December 2021, the UK Home Office says it has removed 10,741 foreign national offenders globally.

According to reports, the UK plans to create a league table of countries ranked on their degree of co-operation in taking back nationals with no right to remain in the UK.

The deal signals a significant breakthrough for Patel as Pakistan is among a group of countries to which the UK has faced problems returning failed asylum seekers and foreign criminals, media reports added.

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