After months of investigation, the High Commission could only find out that about 118 passports were lost.
“We have concluded that 118 passports were lost and the loss took place in Islamabad as against the general impression that they went missing while being transferred to the regional hub in Abu Dhabi,” The Dawn quoted a senior diplomat, as saying.
He stressed that the matter was still being investigated, adding that it was difficult to determine exactly how the passports were lost.
When enquired about the issue, British High Commission spokesperson Rob Murphy said that the issue is being looked after ‘very seriously’ and that a probe is on.
“We take the integrity of our immigration system very seriously and are investigating these reports as a matter of urgency,” Murphy said.
Misplacing the passports could cost the British High Commission dearly, as fears are that these passports could land in al Qaeda’s hands which could use them for terror attacks across the world.
“If terrorists get hold of these passports, they can alter them with the help of human-trafficking mafia and move freely to various countries, especially the US and UK, to carry out terror activities,” observers said.
According to intelligence sources, the lost passports had multiple visas of various western countries that can be tampered with easily by the militants.
Islamabad: Officials at the British High Commission here have still not been able to make any headway in the case of lost Pakistani passports.
First Published: Saturday, February 27, 2010, 16:27