The Pakistani government said the rejected refugees did not have correct paperwork.
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the Pakistani interior minister, said, “Pakistani laws have been violated, which absolutely cannot be allowed.”
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Thirty-one migrants made a round trip from Greece to Pakistan on Thursday after the government in Islamabad said the EU had illegally deported them.
Although 19 out of the 50 deportees who came in on a charter plane were taken into custody in Pakistan, the remainder stayed on board for almost two hours before returning to Greece after the government said they did not have the correct paperwork.
It was the latest salvo in a row between the EU and Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the Pakistani interior minister angry about the treatment of his compatriots by European states struggling with a migrant crisis.
“Pakistani laws have been violated, which absolutely cannot be allowed,” Khan said in a statement.
The issue has been a running source of tension with the EU. In early November Khan suspended an agreement on readmitting illegal detainees, saying two EU states were sending Pakistanis home on “baseless terrorism charges”.
“Those who give lectures on fundamental rights to us should also respect fundamental rights of Pakistanis,” he said at the time.
Last week Dimitris Avramopoulos, a Greek politician and the EU commissioner responsible for migration policy, visited Pakistan to try to soothe concerns.
But on Thursday Pakistan said the EU was still not honouring pledges to only return those whose identity had been confirmed, saying the men flown back to Greece were “unverified deportees”.
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