Archive for the ‘passport’ Category

Thailand: Britain Revokes Visa of Former PM Thaksin

November 8, 2008

Britain has revoked the visas of ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife, Thailand‘s foreign ministry told AFP Saturday, after they fled to the UK to escape corruption allegations.

The ministry confirmed the entry ban after an airline official said the British Embassy in Bangkok had emailed all airlines informing them not to allow the couple to board flights to Britain.

AFP

“We have received confirmation from the British authorities that they have revoked former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife’s visas, but they did not give any explanation,” deputy foreign ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdee told AFP.

Thaksin, ousted in a 2006 coup, fled to Britain in early August after his wife was convicted on tax evasion charges, saying he would not receive a fair trial in Thailand.

Thailand's deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra (R) ... 
Thailand’s deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra (R) and his wife Pojaman (L). Britain has revoked the visas of ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife, Thailand’s foreign ministry told AFP Saturday, after they fled to the UK to escape corruption allegations.(AFP/File/Pornchai Kittiwongsakul)

He has since been sentenced in absentia to two years in prison for conflict of interest after helping his wife buy state-owned land when he was prime minister. Four other corruption cases are outstanding against him.

His exact whereabouts on Saturday were unknown, but local media reported he was travelling from China to the Philippines.

Embassy officials have refused to comment, but in the email to airlines, seen by AFP, Bangkok-based immigration liaison manager Andy Gray, from the UK Border Agency wrote:

“The United Kingdom Border Agency has revoked the UK visas held by the following Thai nationals: Thaksin ShinawatraPotjaman Shinawatra,” listing the pair’s passport numbers.

“The UK visas contained in the passports of the individuals listed above are no longer valid for travel. Airlines are advised not to carry these passengers to the UK,” the email said.

Thaksin’s Thailand-based spokesman said he could not confirm the ban.

“What I can verify is that Thaksin has not received any document from the British authorities concerning this issue…. But if it’s true Thaksin can clarify the matter,” said Phonthep Thepkanjana.

In October a British Home Office spokesman said Thaksin and his wife had applied for political asylum, but people close to Thaksin were later quoted in Thai media as saying that report was incorrect.

Thaksin’s critics in Thailand, supported by a group called the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), have occupied the grounds of the prime minister’s offices since August, accusing the current government of running the country on his behalf.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081108/wl_afp/thailand
britainpoliticsthaksin_081108174902

What We Know About Pakistan’s War Against Terrorists Comes Mostly From Pakistan’s Government

October 18, 2008

One problem with Pakistan’s war against terrorists including al-Qaeda and the Taliban in the Tribal Areas is Pakistan’s set of self imposed restrictions on journalists and foreigners.  Like China, Vietnam and other “closed” societies, Pakistan has decided that what you know about the tribal areas will come only from the Government of Pakistan.  This is why we at Peace and Freedom have ventured into the region and why we so highly value the contributions of Muhammad Khurshid, now fired from his job as a newspaper journalist in Pakistan and “lost” somewhere in the tribal region….

Troops backed by helicopter gunships and artillery pounded militant positions in northwest Pakistan, killing 60 fighters and wounding many others, the military said Saturday.

From the Assoaciated Press

Pakistani soldiers patrol the Najia mountains in the Swat valley. ... 

The assault happened Friday evening in the Swat valley shortly before a senior U.S. official arrived in Pakistan for talks with leaders of a country vital to Western security concerns.

Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher held talks in Islamabad on Saturday morning with Pakistan’s Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik and was expected to meet other leaders later in the day. He made no public comment.

U.S. officials, concerned about rising militancy in both nuclear-armed Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, have praised Pakistani efforts to clear Taliban and al-Qaida strongholds near its northwestern frontier.

But militants are mounting stiff resistance including a string of suicide attacks that could fan widespread Pakistani concern that they are paying too high a price for their front-line role in the U.S.-led war on terror.

An army statement said Friday’s offensive killed at least 60 militants and wounded many more near the town of Matta.

It was not immediately possible to independently confirm the casualties. Reporters cannot visit the area because of poor security and government restrictions….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081018/ap_
on_re_as/as_pakistan_3

Supporters of Pakistani Islamist parties burn a U.S. flag, during ... 
Supporters of Pakistani Islamist parties burn a U.S. flag, during a protest rally against U.S. strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghanistan border, in Lahore October 17, 2008.REUTERS/Mohsin Raza (PAKISTAN)

Pakistan Charges American With Illegal Entry, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

(CNN) — Pakistani authorities have charged an American being held in Pakistan’s tribal region with illegal entry and illegal possession of a weapon, the State Department said Friday.

Juddi Kenan Mohamed was arrested Monday at a checkpoint in the northern district of Mohmand near Peshawar as he was trying to enter the area, said Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States.

Mohamed was carrying a U.S. passport and said he was traveling to see a friend in the tribal area near the Afghanistan border, Haqqani said. However, he was detained because all foreigners are required to have a permit to enter such areas.

There is no evidence Mohamed poses a security risk, Haqqani said.

Gordon Duguid, a State Department spokesman, said the U.S. consul general visited Mohamed in Islamabad on Tuesday and is seeking another visit.

The United States is providing “all possible assistance” to Mohamed, including helping him find a lawyer, Duguid said.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/10/17/
pakistan.american/index.html?section=cnn_latest

As More Take a Chance On Fleeing North Korea, Routes for All Budgets

November 18, 2007

By Blain Harden
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, November 18, 2007; Page A01

SEOUL — Brokers here are busily selling what they call “planned escapes” from North Korea.
Given enough money, the brokers say, they can now get just about anyone out of the dictatorial Stalinist state that human rights activists call the world’s largest prison.

A low-budget escape through China via Thailand to Seoul, which requires treacherous river crossings, arduous travel on foot and several miserable weeks in a Thai immigration jail, can cost less than $2,000, according to four brokers here.

A first-class defection, complete with a forged Chinese passport and an airplane ticket from Beijing to Seoul, goes for more than $10,000. From start to finish, it can take as little as three weeks.

Read the rest:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/17/AR2007111701699.html?hpid=topnews