Court ordered apology after German national was taken into custody on March 16 for visiting Sakhi Sarwar without specifically obtaining permission.
Police have apologized to a German tourist after she was detained for two weeks for allegedly violating the terms of her visa, her lawyer said Wednesday.
Kim Laura Schweer was arrested on March 16 in Sakhi Sarwar, where she had gone to visit an annual festival in honor of the Sufi saint the town is named after, police official Rana Mohammad Asif said. He added that Schweer, who is in her twenties, did not have specific permission to visit the town.
According to the non-profit Nuclear Threat Initiative, the district is home to uranium processing facilities. It also borders the restive Balochistan province.
Schweer’s lawyer Rana Asif Saeed said he had been contacted about the case by the German embassy in Islamabad, and had taken the matter to court, which ordered the tourist’s release on Tuesday.
“I moved the Lahore High Court Multan Bench praying that under the U.N. charter any visitor with a valid countrywide visa can move freely anywhere in Pakistan,” he said. “If there are some restrictions by local agencies or security forces, they must be in black and white and should be told to the visitor on the issuance of visa. No such restriction was mentioned on her visa. The court asked the police to tender an apology to her and warned the police to be careful in future,” he added.
A spokesman at the German embassy confirmed the facts of the case but declined to confirm the tourist’s name or provide further details. “Her visa is expiring on April 4 and she has moved to Islamabad today and may leave for her country today or tomorrow,” said Saeed, Schweer’s lawyer.
Pakistan requires foreigners to obtain “No Objection Certificates” to visit many parts of the country owing to fears over their security and to protect areas considered sensitive by authorities.