Two Pakistanis killed in illegal attempt to cross into Iran

April 17, 2018
Zain Uddin

Iranian border force in Sistan province. Photo: File

Iranian forces opened fire near Gwadar, killing two Pakistani men.

According to Pakistan security officials, 15 people tried to enter Iran illegally. The Iranian border force opened fire on the illegal entrants. Two of them were killed on the spot while five others were taken into custody. The remaining managed to enter Iran and fled.

Pakistani officials said the Iranian border force handed over the bodies and the arrested five men to the Levies at Pillar No. 250 of the Pak-Iran border. Iranian officials say the incident took place on April 12.

Levies officials shifted the bodies to the District Headquarter Hospital, Gwadar, where they were identified as 20-year-old Shahzeb Khan, son of Farzand Ali Khan, and 27-year-old Omer Sadiq, son of Allah Dad. The bodies were sent to their native town in Bannu.

The arrested men were taken to the Levies police station in Gwadar, after which they were handed over to FIA Gwadar. Three of them, Waheed Khan, Shah Fayaz Khan and Sifat Ali Khan, belong to Bannu, while Muhammad Sagheer belongs to Karachi. The fifth man, identified as Muhammad Muqeem, belongs to Jhang.

This is the second incident in which Iranian forces shot Pakistani migrants trying to enter the country illegally. On March 13, Iranian border forces killed two migrants from Gujranwala on the border with Pakistan. They had wanted to enter Turkey via Iran as part of a 13-member group. According to the family of the deceased, Lakht-e-Abbas and Sarfaraz were trying to illegally cross into Iran when they were spotted and shot by the Iranian border guards. They died on the spot while the remaining 11 men are missing to date. Members of an Afghan family were also among them.

Thousands of Pakistanis risk their lives every year to travel to Europe in search of better opportunities but the majority ends up in jail or dead. They try to cross into Iran through Balochistan.

In November last year, 20 people attempting to unlawfully cross the Pakistan-Iran border were killed by separatists in Turbat, Balochistan.

In a report submitted in the Supreme Court, the FIA had revealed that 6,767 Pakistanis entered the European countries illegally through Iran in 2017 alone. According to the report, 27,749 were deported – 18,810 from Iran, 4,401 from Turkey and 4,538 from European countries. The report had identified Gujranwala as “the origin of the majority” of them.

“The illegal migrants leave Pakistan through unofficial border crossings located along unfrequented routes into Iran,” the report said.​