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 Maleeha takes up the case of detained Pakistanis with US official
By Khalid Hassan,
 APP's Special Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (APP) - Pakistan's Ambassador Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, who held a meeting with Christina Rocca, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, Friday discussed with the US official the detention of over 200 hundred Pakistanis in the aftermath of the 11 September attacks.
The ambassador also conveyed to Rocca the concerns of the Pakistani-American community.
An embassy press release said, this has been a subject of discussion
between the authorities of Pakistan and the United States of the past
several weeks. It would be recalled that, during their meeting in New York
on November 10, President Musharraf and President Bush had discussed this matter.
The embassy, said the press statement, has been sharing information
provided by family members of the detainees with the State Department and the Department of Justice. The embassy has also sought information on the detainees whereabouts as well as provision of consular access to them. In many cases, direct contact between the detainees and their relatives has been facilitated through these efforts. The embassy has also been able to get consular access to many of the detainees.
According to figures released by the Justice Department on 27 November, 208 persons born in Pakistan are held on immigration charges since the events of September 11.
Lodhi, in her meeting with Rocca requested the US authorities to provide to the Pakistan embassy the names of all the Pakistani detainees, location of the detention centres where they are being held and specific charges under which the detentions have taken place.
The ambassador further requested that relevant authorities in different
states may be asked to provide consular access to the detainees.
Lodhi reiterated her earlier offer to facilitate the deportation process,
in cases where the detainees agree not to contest their deportation.
The Assistant Secretary reaffirmed the US desire to be helpful in this
matter. She assured the ambassador that the detainees would be treated in
accordance with US law and the US government would fulfill its obligations under the Vienna Convention.

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