Nida Khan is a Pakistani travel blogger, who often travels to various places and writes about her experiences.
Recently in an unfortunate turn of events she was deported from Mexico during her planned trip to Brazil, Mexico and Cuba.
In a post on Facebook, she stated that after several months of long procedures, documentation, back and forth visits to the consulates, she finally had her visa’s approved for her planned destinations.
After getting through with the most difficult part of the trip(or so she thought) she initiated the travel by hitting Brazil as her first stop. When she reached brazil, everything went on rather smoothly and she enjoyed her stay throughout. Her next stop was mexico. She took a flight from brazil through Panama to Mexico.
Upon her arrival she stood in a queue for immigration like everyone else. But to her surprise she was stopped mid way before reaching the counter. She explains the encounter as a racist approach by the immigration officers. They looked at her identifying her as a south asian and enquired about her nationality. When she confirmed she was Pakistani, she was immediately taken to an isolated room and was kept there for hours without food and water, let alone a toilet. When she enquired about it, she was laughed at and told she was going to be deported to the place she landed from. They didn’t tell her a definite reason, although they did say if she had an American Visa they would’ve let her go. She insisted to be allowed to take a flight to Cuba instead if they weren’t allowing her here, she was yet again denied. Nida was escorted to the plane like a high alert prisoner and had to deal with piercing stares from the fellow passengers. When she landed in Brazil again, she thought she’d be treated in a nicer way since she already spent a few days there prior to Mexico. But since the authorities at Mexico airport had already informed the authorities in Brazil, she was treated the same way as someone who had committed a grave crime. She was put in an isolated room yet again, with no water and food whatsoever. She was planned to be sent back to Pakistan through UAE, for which she had already booked her tickets for Islamabad, incase she was to be treated the same way she was in Brazil and Mexico. When she reached the UAE, she was treated just like everyone else and finally after 3 days of no food and water she was in Islamabad. During this ordeal she tried to contact the Pakistan Embassy in the said countries, and to her disappointment got no response. Even after being back, she keeps checking her email to see if she might’ve recieved an email of acknowledgement from the Embassy. But still no answer.
Nida feels she was targeted for being of a south asian origin, or maybe simply Pakistani. Even after all these years, after the 9/11 incident, Pakistani’s are looked upon as terrorists. Even if we had nothing to do with the incident, the world will still see us with reference to Osama Bin Laden. Nobody wants to know how peaceful we are, or that we mean no harm. And we can never be able to prove it to them either.
You would think, after all these years things might’ve changed. But incidents like the one stated above, prove us time to time that things have not changed, and might not ever.
It is the responsibility of our Ambassadors, Foreign Minister and Diplomatics to look into matters like these. It was Nida today, it could be one of us tomorrow.
We urge PM Imran Khan, Shah Mehmood Quresh, Maliha Lodhi and other prominent ambassadors of Pakistan to look into this and give Nida her due justice.