Pak’s request to interrogate Oz asylum seekers to curb human smuggling on hold

July 21st, 2010 - 5:19 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, July 21 (ANI): Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith has refused to comment on demands of Pakistani officials to allow them to interrogate people seeking asylum on Christmas Island.

Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) director (immigration) Mohammad Manzoor had said that interrogating people was the only way through which the massive smuggling syndicate could be dismantled.

“We do request them every time to either give us access to the detainees, or, if (they) have some legal complications, we have given them the telephone numbers of our investigators and the director of anti-human smuggling,” Manzoor had said earlier.

However, Smith said that the government would itself probe the matter in accordance with the United Nation’s Refugee Convention.

He said Australia is working closely with several countries, including Pakistan, and their agencies to combat people smuggling.

“We work very closely with countries in our region, both source countries whether it be Afghanistan or Pakistan, or transit countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka. We seek to disrupt and prevent the people smugglers from applying their trade,” News.co.au quoted Smith, as saying. (ANI)

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