Pak embassy continues efforts to ensure safety of immigrant workers in Greece | Pakistan Today

Pak embassy continues efforts to ensure safety of immigrant workers in Greece

LAHORE/ATHENS: Pakistan’s Ambassador to Greece Khalid Usman Qaisar held high-level talks with the Mayor of Aspropyrgos Nikolaos Meletiou and his Secretary General Athanasios Houpis regarding the safety of Pakistani community residing in the City.

The meeting is a part of the multi-pronged response the Pakistan embassy has been undertaking to retaliate against recent racially motivated attacks on Pakistani immigrant workers, which are suspected to have been carried out by Greece’s alt-right ‘Golden Dawn’ party.

As reported earlier by Pakistan Today in mid-August, Pakistani nationals Waqas Hussein and Ashfak Mahmoud were working on a local farm, near the industrial zone of Aspropyrgos when a group of five armed men, bearing knuckle-dusters and other blunt-edged weapons, surrounded them. The resulting confrontation left both injured and subsequently hospitalised.

Ambassador Qaisar had responded back then by condemning the attacks, meeting with the victims and taking assurances from the ruling party that Pakistani immigrant workers would be protected under all circumstances. Back then, the victims had been extended full support by the government and other parties, with most pinning the blame on the Golden Dawn.

The Golden Dawn, which has had a long history of such racially motivated actions and high handed techniques, vehemently denied these claims after which the ambassador met with Golden Dawn chief Nikos Michaloliakos and assured full cooperation between the two.

Now, according to documents exclusively available with Pakistan Today, the Pakistan embassy is trying to tie away any loose ends by also meeting with the mayor of the city in which the two expats had been attacked and brutalised.

The mayor, who is a leader of the right of centre liberal-conservative ‘New Democracy’ party, assured the Pakistani delegation that he was personally looking into the matter and that the attackers would be brought to justice very soon.

He went on to say that he personally knew most of the Pakistani community in his city and commended them for their hard work and the vital role they play in the working of the city.

Interestingly enough, according to details provided to Pakistan Today by ambassador Qaisar, the mayor, too, alluded to the attack perhaps being the action of the Golden Dawn. He said the Pakistani community was living in peace and working for the betterment of the area but “some groups were trying to cause trouble for everyone by creating discord.”

In this regard, Qaiser also held a meeting with Tzanestos Fillipakos, the Greek Interior Ministry’s Secretary General Co-ordination.

Ambassador Khalid Usman Qaiser in a meeting with Tzanestos Filippakos, Secretary General Coordination, Ministry of Interior of Greece

It is hoped that the series of moves made by the embassy will go far in protecting the rights of the Pakistani immigrant workers and will have a larger impact on the lives of immigrants, in general, facing harassment from the Golden Dawn and its ideological ilk.

Additional reporting by Abdullah Niazi  

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