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‘Blacklisted’ US citizen arrested in Pakistan

A Shaheen airplane is seen taking off from Bacha Khan airport in Peshaswar June 26, 2014. One woman was killed and three crew members were wounded as gunmen shot an Airbus 310 plane carrying 178 passengers from Saudi Arabia as it landed in the northern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday night. It was the third incident of violence to affect Pakistan's airports this month as international airlines review the safety of flying to a country with an increasingly violent Taliban insurgency. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz (PAKISTANTRANSPORT - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS TRANSPORT)

Lahore: Blacklisted and deported from the U.S in 2011 on charges of espionage, an American citizen was arrested at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport hours after his arrival.

According to Dawn, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the grant of a Pakistani visa to Matthew Craig Barrett, the US citizen who was expelled from U.S

Barrett was hauled by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and police officials in a joint raid on a guest house in Islamabad and a case has been registered against two FIA immigration officials, Sub-Inspector Raja Asif and his son Ehteshamul Haq.

An interior ministry statement said that action would also be initiated against officials at the Pakistani consulate in Houston, who were responsible for issuing him a visa.

According to documents seen by Dawn, Barrett was issued a multiple-entry visa, stamped by Sajida Altaf Qazi, vice consul at the visa section in Pakistan’s mission in Houston.

The visa was issued on June 22 and is good up to June 30, 2020, allowing Barrett to stay in the country for up to one year at a time.

Barrett’s passport, which is valid for 10 years, would have expired on June 30, 2020, a week after his visa ran out.

The last time Barrett came to Pakistan, things did not go well for him. On June 10, 2011, he was arrested at a residence in Islamabad’s Sector E-11 for overstaying his visa. (ANI)