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‘Blacklisted’ American spy enters Pakistan, gets arrested in Islamabad

Pakistan authorities swung into action as soon as they came to know that a blacklisted American national has entered the country.

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Taking an immediate action, Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency officials arrested Mathew Barrett, who was deported from Pakistan in 2011 for espionage.

Matthew Craig Barrett, who was blacklisted and deported from Pakistan in 2011 on charges of spying on the country’s nuclear installations, “was able to clear the immigration process at the Islamabad airport due to negligence of immigration officials,” a statement issued by the ministry said. “A case has been registered against him for violating immigration laws,” it added.

Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency officials arrested Mathew Barrett from an Islamabad guest house, said Sarfaraz Hussain, a spokesman for the country’s Interior Ministry.

He had lived in Pakistan for four years, married a Pakistani woman and had two children. In 2011 media reports he strongly denied local suspicions that he was a spy. He was eventually deported and banned from the country.

Hussain said Barrett obtained a visa from the Pakistani consulate in Houston and managed to clear the airport immigration counter.

However, the investigators told the magistrate that they had yet to arrest Sub-Inspector Raja Atif, the other immigration official involved in the incident. The magistrate directed the FIA officials to produce Barrett and Ehtasham in court on August 9.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan suspended several other immigration officials, including an FIA assistant director, for their negligence resulting in Barrett’s entry into the country. According to an interior ministry statement, action is also being taken against officials of Pakistan’s Consulate in Houston for issuing a visa to the blacklisted US citizen.

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