Myanmar deports 2 Pakistanis, Malaysia, China follows

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LOOKEAST SPECIAL REPORT

Two Pakistanis, Kazim Ali, 20, and Rahil Shahid, 22, were sent back to Lahore via Bangkok from Kuala Lumpur on Aug 6, top Malaysian sources said.

Malaysia is a Muslim-predominant country but its government is opposed to Islamist radicalism and responds harshly against groups or individuals preaching that.

02 Deported Pakistanis getting checked in Yangon airport - Copy

Deported Pakistanis getting checked in Yangon airport

It is one country where controversial Islamist preacher Zakir Naik is banned.

Another Pakistani national Faraz Sohail Khan, 26, was deported from Shanghai (China’s commercial capital) on Aug 6 as well, Chinese official sources said.

Considering that China is Pakistan’s “iron brother” and “all weather friend”, Beijing’s invoking of “security grounds” to expel Khan is significant.

These expulsions follow within four days of Myanmar expelling two Pakistanis for “unauthorised preaching”.

Ahmed Zulfiqar, 63, and his son Ahmed Saifullah, 29, were deported from Myanmar on Aug 2, 2016 on charges of violation of Immigration Law.

Both these Islamic clerics had arrived in Yangon from Bangkok on July 26 and given sermons in Panbetan, Kyauktada and Mingala Taunganyuat townships without seeking formal permission from the local authorities as required by law.

another Pakistani national Faraz Sohail Khan, 26, was deported from Shanghai on Aug 6 as well, Chinese official sources said. Considering that China is Pakistan’s “iron brother” and “all weather friend”, Beijing’s invoking of “security grounds” to expel Khan is significant

They were arrested on July 30 by the police in Yangon for instigating local Muslims through sermons. Maximum punishment for this breach of Immigration Law is six months in prison or a fine or both.

03 FAREED 4 August 2016 at Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok - Copy (2)

A Deported Pakistani national seen at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport on 4 August 2016

However, following intervention of the Pakistani embassy officials in Yangon, both Zulfiqar and Saifullah were released on bail and were flown back to Bangkok by Thai Airways.

The bail amount and return air fare were paid by the Pakistan Embassy. The counsellor (Visa) in the Pakistan’s Yangon embassy personally intervened with the Myanmar authorities to secure their release.

Local Muslims maintain that the visit and sermons delivered by Zulfiqar and his son were routine in nature and that this once again highlighted the systemic bias and prejudice against Muslims and Islamic practices in Myanmar.

The father and son were detained over the weekend and the Tarmwe Township Court found them guilty of an immigration violation under sections 4(2) and 13(1) of the 1947 Immigration Act.

They were sentenced with a 100,000 Kyat fine each, roughly $84, and told they could be deported or face a year in prison.

Tarmwe township immigration officer U Maung Maung told media persons that Zulfiqar and his son had opted for deportation. A local Muslim leader said the father and son visitors had no intention of breaking the law.

“Really it was a misunderstanding,” said U Aye Lwin, a Muslim leader and member of the Muslim Interfaith Association.

Bangladesh has recently expelled two Pakistani diplomats, saying they were staffers of military intelligence agency ISI and responsible for funding and backing Islamist radicals in the country.

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