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Illegal immigrants and Pakistan-origin terrorists entering Europe via Bosnia: Reports

By getting a Bosnian visa, the Pakistani nationals can fly directly to Bosnia and then cross into neighbouring countries, saving them the expensive and dangerous journey through Iran and Turkey to enter Europe.

While the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has been infamous for exporting terrorism to India, a report by The Economic Times states that illegal immigrants and terrorists from Pakistan are now entering Europe through Bosnia & Herzegovina. The new development has stoke fears of a rise in terror attacks in Europe.

As per the report, the government of Bosnia has recently summoned and reprimanded the Pakistani Ambassador to Sarajevo after two Pakistan-origin terrorists entered the country illegally. Fahrudin Radonci, Bosnian Security Minister, informed that they have been able to expose the terrorists, using DNA fingerprinting techniques. However, Economic Times reported that the Pakistani Ambassador has refused to co-operate with the Bosnian government in checking the fingerprints of the illegal migrants in the country.

How Bosnia serves a route for human trafficking?

It was reported earlier how Pakistanis were exploiting visa frauds to make their way illegally into the European Union (EU). As per the report, around 3000 Pakistani nationals were fraudulently issued visas by the Bosnian embassy in Islamabad and enabling them to cover much of the distance of the 4000-mile-long-human-trafficking-route.

By doing so, Pakistanis can reach Bosnia directly from Pakistan and cross the border to reach Croatia and make inroads the smuggling route. In the absence of a visa to Bosnia, they will have to cross through Iran, Turkey, Greece, Albania, and Macedonia. Besides being an expensive and cumbersome process, illegal immigrants have to risk arrest, violence at the hands of criminals, and even death in some cases.

Drastic increase in Pakistanis travelling to Bosnia

While only 100 people travelled to Bosnia from Pakistan in January 2019, the number kept on increasing. By July 2019, around 3000 people arrived in Bosnia from Pakistan. While there was a temporary decline, the number of immigrants spiked again in October last year. An investigation has been launched into the dealings at the Bosnian embassy in Islamabad by the State Prosecutor. As for the Security Minister Radoncic, he has dubbed allegations of infiltration and human trafficking as a ‘security threat.’

Sakib Foric, the Bosnian ambassador to Pakistan had denied all allegations. He had asserted that the embassy in Islamabad has not issued a single forged visa and demanded an apology from the Bosnian minister and official who had levelled the allegations against him.

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