Tuesday Dec 25, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Nazir Ahmed, a British-Pakistani member of the UK House of Lords, was stopped Monday night by authorities at the Islamabad International Airport (IIAP).
According to Lord Ahmed, he was barred from entering Pakistan over his failure to produce a valid National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) and is facing challenges at the airport.
In a message obtained by Geo News, Ahmed wrote: "Salams [greetings], just landed at Islamabad International Airport with expired NICOP and have been given 72 hours permit to enter Pakistan.
"Qatar Air and FIA confirmed that COP is a requirement for entry into Pakistan," he added.
The expatriate also alleged that the "advisors and Spokesmen for PTI [Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf] have given wrong information to Overseas Pakistanis".
While speaking to Geo News on phone, Ahmed said: "It was announced that if one doesn't have a NICOP, there's no need for it. Anyone who can prove that they're of Pakistani origin doesn't need a NICOP."
"The FIA [Federal Investigation Agency] says they have not been informed of any such announcement and told me to obtain a permit in 72 hours or acquire an extension from Interior [Ministry]," he commented.
Ahmed then talked about the new laws in Pakistan, saying: "I thought now that the law has changed, I would not need it [NICOP] in the 'Naya Pakistan'."
"The Naya Pakistan lacks proper coordination; if I am undergoing this experience, what will they do to others?
"The government had made this announcement. It was overseas Pakistanis who helped form this government. The PTI advisors are not properly facilitating overseas Pakistanis," he added.
He noted that earlier, no British-Pakistani person could visit Pakistan without a NICOP.
"We all have our NICOPs. I have my NICOP but it is expired. It's not that I'm unable to prove my Pakistani origin; I have all my documents but my NICOP is expired," he lamented.