Islamabad: Two former Pakistani diplomats
were on Thursday sentenced to one year in prison by an anti-terror
court for issuing passports to three Indian citizens,including
a man linked to the 1993 serial bomb attacks in Mumbai, who
had furnished fake documents` for the purpose.
Judge Wamiq Javed of the anti-terrorism court
sentenced Ghulam Rasool Balouch, Pakistan`s former Consul
General in Houston, US, to rigorous imprisonment for one year
and imposed a fine of Rs 15,000 on him.
The court also sentenced former Assistant Consul
General Mohammad Naeem to rigorous imprisonment for a year and
fined him Rs 5,000.
The two officials were convicted for issuing over
300 passports to people who provided fake or incomplete
Pakistani authorities registered a case against them
two years ago after being alerted by the US Federal Bureau of
Investigation about lapses in the issuance of passports by the
consulate in Houston.
The National Accountability Bureau, Pakistan`s
anti-corruption agency, filed a case against the two officials
in the anti-terrorism court, stating that they and a travel
agent named Imran Lalpuri were involved in issuing passports
to Indian nationals Aziz Moosa, Saleem Ali and Abdul Sadiq.
Aziz Moosa was issued a Pakistani passport in the
name of Syed Nazar Ali.
An American passport bearing the name Syed Nazar Ali
was found after the 1993 bomb blasts in Mumbai and
investigations revealed the man was actually an Indian
national named Aziz Moosa.
Subsequent investigations showed that several
passports had been issued by the Pakistani consulate in
Houston, including one to Moosa.
A series of 13 bomb blasts in Mumbai on March 12,
1993 killed 257 people and injured hundreds.
The attacks were coordinated by underworld mob boss
Dawood Ibrahim with help from Pakistan?s Inter-Services