Illegal immigrant leaves Pakistan mission in soup



London: An illegal immigrant has turned an embarrassment for the Pakistan high commission in Britain after running away from his flat before British officials could reach him.

The man was allowed to stay in the country on Pakistan High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan's request.

Tanveer Awan left his flat ahead of UK Border Agency's morning raid. His disappearance is an embarrassment to the Pakistan high commissioner, who permitted him to stay despite his illegal status, The Sun reported Sunday.

The Pakistan high commissioner's friend Shafqat Hussain admitted receiving a cash payment from Awan to process his renewal application. Both men have urged Awan to hand himself in to the British authorities.

Awan was living in a town in Surrey after being issued with a fake passport by former senior Pakistani officials in London. He later applied for another after losing it.

Awan's application was backed by Pakistan high commissioner's friend Hussain, who had brought it to the attention of Hasan who then personally wrote on the illegal immigrant's renewal application: "Pls. issue one year passport urgently".

High Commissioner Hasan has admitted that a mistake was made by approving the illegal immigrant's passport without stringent checks.

Hasan said he signed the passport renewal form not knowing Awan was an illegal immigrant, and denies any wrongdoing.

Hasan said: "It is mandatory for me to issue a passport to any Pakistani national whether legal or illegal as that passport gives him an opportunity to go to Pakistan."

British authorities are now searching for Awan.

IANS