Blacklisted US citizen Matthew Barrett LAHORE: Matthew Craig Barrett, an American citizen who was arrested earlier this month after entering Pakistan despite being ‘blacklisted’, was deported from the country early Saturday, DawnNews reported.
The US national is travelling to New York on Pakistan International Airlines flight PK-711 from Lahore airport after he was deported, a photo of his boarding pass available with DawnNews confirmed.
Barret was transported to Lahore from Islamabad by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) last night after he was released from the Adiala prison on Friday for deportation, sources said.
He was sent to prison on Aug 13 under the Foreigners Act on 14-day judicial remand. And on Thursday a special court of the FIA allowed the authorities to deport him.
It was not immediately clear why he was not deported from Islamabad but shifted to Lahore for the purpose.
Barrett’s arrest in 2016
Barrett was arrested on Aug 6 by personnel of law enforcement agencies at a guesthouse in Islamabad, hours after returning to Pakistan despite being deported to the US in 2011.
Barrett, who was picked up by FIA and police officials in a joint raid on a guest house in the capital, had claimed that he had come back to Pakistan to explore the possibility of permanently moving here. He claimed that he had been cleared of all charges against him by the Supreme Court in 2011.
In June Barrett obtained a Pakistani visa from the Pakistan consulate in Houston, Texas, and the immigration counter at Benazir Bhutto International Airport allowed him to enter the country.
Taking notice of negligence on the part of immigration officials, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan ordered an inquiry into how he managed to re-enter the country and suspended sub-inspector Raja Asif Raza and constable Ehteshamul Haq of the FIA.
The interior minister told a press conference last week that a joint investigation team (JIT) report had confirmed Barrett was not a spy.
Barrett’s arrest in 2011
Barrett was arrested in 2011 while taking photographs of sensitive installations in the Jhang Bhattar area near Islamabad. Maps of sensitive installations had also been recovered from him at the time.
Though his visa was valid until Dec 11, 2011, at the time of his arrest in May, its term was reduced at the request of an intelligence agency to June 4, 2011 and Barrett was asked to leave Pakistan. But instead of going back, he had gone into hiding and was arrested at a residence in sector E-11 days after his visa expired.
During his earlier stay in the country he married a Pakistani woman. The couple have two children.