ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan confirmed on Friday that Matthew Barrett, the blacklisted US national who was deported in 2011, is not a spy and the same has been confirmed by a joint investigation team (JIT) report.
“The JIT report has confirmed that Matthew Barrett is not a spy,” said the interior minister during a press conference.
Nisar also stated that Barrett will be deported with in the next two or three days.
“We will deport him (Barrett) in the next two or three days keeping the JIT report’s findings in view.”
Nisar stated he has asked for a report from the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) regarding the lapse in security witnessed in Barrett’s case. He further added the FIA has been instructed to ensure such a security lapse does not occur again in the future.
Elaborating on Barrett’s arrest, Nisar said the official who cleared him has been arrested and will be prosecuted under law, while the official who caught him has been rewarded and given a letter of appreciation from the interior minister.
Barrett’s arrest in 2011
Barrett was arrested in 2011 while taking photographs of sensitive installations in the Jhang Bhattar area near Islamabad. Maps of sensitive installations had also been recovered from him at the time.
Though his visa was valid until Dec 11, 2011, at the time of his arrest in May, its term was reduced at the request of an intelligence agency to June 4, 2011 and Barrett was asked to leave Pakistan. But instead of going back, he had gone into hiding and was arrested at a residence in sector E-11 days after his visa expired.