Tue | Feb 20, 2018

Blacklisted American arrested

Published:Sunday | August 7, 2016 | 12:00 AM


An American who was deported from Pakistan and blacklisted years ago has been arrested upon returning to the country, officials said yesterday.

Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency officials arrested Mathew Craig Barrett from an Islamabad guest house, said a spokesman for the country's Interior Ministry.

The spokesman said Barrett was deported in 2011 after being found in the area of a sensitive installation. He did not elaborate but said, "If someone was blacklisted there should have been something serious."

Barrett, a 33-year old Alabama native, was previously arrested May 2011 in the Fateh Jang area near a highly secretive military research facility.

He had lived in Pakistan for four years, married a Pakistani woman and had two children. In media reports and a letter smuggled from jail in 2011 to the Guardian newspaper, Barret strongly denied local suspicions that he was a spy and claimed he was a victim of simmering tensions at the time between the US and Pakistani governments. He was eventually deported and banned from the country.

Barrett reportedly obtained a visa from the Pakistani consulate in Houston and managed to clear the airport immigration counter.

The Pakistani interior minister has ordered a thorough enquiry into how Barrett managed to enter Pakistan again and suspended the airport immigration staff.