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Pakistani jihadists seek asylum in Italy with false claims

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Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, writer, research scholar, and counterterrorism specialist. He regularly writes for local and international newspapers.

Thousands of Pakistanis, most of whom are members of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Sipah Sahaba, Haqqani Network and militants from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir as well as members of Pakistani political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are entering Italy and seeking political asylum stating they are forced to flee Pakistan due to “war and hunger”. Similarly, Bangladeshis (most of whom are activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-e-Islami) are also entering Italy and seeking asylum stating they have fled the country due to “war and hunger”.

According to data provided by UNHRC, only on February 28, 2023 1,342 Bangladeshi nationals arrived in Italy using rubber boats. On the same day, 1,175 Pakistanis also arrived in Italy. There has not been a single Indian national in the list of illegally arrived people on the day.

Italian newspaper Primato Nazionale in a report titled ‘Africans, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis in search of fortune in Italy’ said, thousands of illegal immigrants are entering the country while all of them are seeking asylum stating they were forced to flee due to war and hunger.

The report said: “Immigrants flee from hunger and war“, this was the story told to Italians for years by those who supported mass immigration, i.e. left-wing politicians, NGOs and the entire hospitality business chain. Also, in 2023, as in previous years, this lie was shattered by the statistics of the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) which faithfully report the countries of origin of the immigrants landed in Italy.

According to sources, none of these illegal immigrants are fleeing their country due to war.

In 2023, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Bangladesh, Tunisia and Pakistan are the most declared nationalities by immigrants upon landing in Italy.

Of the 26,832 immigrants who landed on 26 March 2023, only 429 were Syrian, 389 Afghan, 191 Sudanese, 21 Iraqi, 12 Somali and 6 Libyan, i.e. they came from war-torn or destabilized countries. This means that 96 percent of immigrants were not fleeing war.

Another interesting figure published by UNHCR is represented by the demographic characteristics of the immigrants: 70 percent are men, 12 percent women, 4 percent minors accompanied by family members, 14 percent self-styled unaccompanied minors. As is known, in Italy, after the approval of the Zampa Law in 2017, it has become practically impossible to establish the real age of an immigrant who declares himself a minor at the time of landing and the presumption of minority always applies. 

Moreover, these data strongly differ from those published by Iom Libya (International Organization for Migration) relating to immigrants brought back to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard since the beginning of 2023: only 3 percent are minors (without distinction between accompanied and unaccompanied).

From January to February 2023, as many as 59 percent of the immigrants who landed in Italy left from Tunisia: the most numerous nationalities were Guinean, Ivory Coast and Tunisia. 35 percent of the immigrants left Libya. From the UNHCR data, it is understood that these, mainly originating from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Egypt, all countries not at war, deliberately went to Libya, a destabilized country, moreover paying the traffickers handsomely.

Immigrants who don’t run away from hunger

As noted by the immigrants who survived the Cutro shipwreck and by the relatives of the disappeared, the people embarked on that old fishing boat had paid the traffickers from 8,000 to 15,000 euros per person for the journey. As documented by a report by IOM, Bangladeshis spend an average of around 8,000 euros to reach Italy, using planes that take them from Bangladesh to Turkey, the United Arab Emirates or Egypt, to then arrive in Libya and embark on a trafficker’s boat. On average, a sub-Saharan pay between 6 thousand and 10 thousand euros for the journey from the country of origin to Italy.

During the journey, immigrants, both African and Asian, pass through countries that could welcome them, also due to the presence of refugee camps run by United Nations agencies. Not only that: with the amount of money given to traffickers, immigrants could start a new life in countries neighboring their countries of origin. 

By now it is clear that these people come to Italy and Europe in search of Western-style well-being and to be able to take advantage of welfare. In fact, the phenomenon of asylum shopping is known, i.e. immigrants try to reach European countries with a stronger welfare state, such as the Scandinavian ones, by not filing an asylum application in Italy. For this reason, immigrants often remain in a sort of limbo because France, Switzerland and Austria have sealed their borders.

In a comprehensive report published in BLiTZ on March 31, 2023 it was stated migrants are paying over US$8,000 to the transnational human trafficking rackets for transporting them mostly through sea-routes to European countries, whereas organized traffickers from Turkey, Pakistan, Malta, Somalia, Tunisia, Myanmar, Colombia, Mexico, Cuba, Nigeria, Philippines, Syria and few other countries are behind handling of such illegal activities.

According to an investigative report published in Italian newspaper il Giornale, when Italian police investigated the cases of people illegally reaching the country mostly through boats, it was revealed that illegal migrants are required to pay a “fee” of eight thousand Euros to organized transnational human trafficking rackets mainly run by Turkish and Pakistani nationals.

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Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, writer, research scholar, and counterterrorism specialist. He regularly writes for local and international newspapers.
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