Iran on Friday handed over 19,000 Pakistanis arrested for crossing the Pak-Iran border illegally in the current year, according to a security official.
According to the security official, belonging to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the arrested persons had entered neighbouring Iran through unmanned routes scattered along the 900-kilometre border with the country. The Pakistani citizens had entered Iran in a bid to reach Greece and other European countries in pursuit of well-paying jobs.
The official said that a large number of the migrants belonged to Mandi Bahauddin, Gujrat, Sialkot and other areas of Punjab province. He said that only a handful of them were able to reach Europe while the others were arrested soon after crossing into Iran.
He further said that Iran had constructed a 64 kilometre wall to stop free cross border movement of people, adding that human smugglers instead used less-travelled routes in Mashkail, Mand-Bilo Turbat and Panjgoor to enter the country.
The official revealed that the FIA had formed a special team, comprising of five senior officials, to initiate action against immigrants who wanted to cross into Iran. The team was given these orders after Levies officials found 15 bullet-riddled bodies in Kech earlier this week. Investigations later revealed that the victims were enroute to Iran in order to travel further to Europe to earn livelihood.