FEBRUARY 2003

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Rumor: Pakistan Removed From List Of 25 Blacklisted Countries!
From Daily Khabrain (Daily News)
January 15, 2003

Many Pakistanis waiting in line for registration, upon hearing from one another that Pakistan has been cleared from the list of 20 countries whose citizens were required to register by the 15th, left for home without registering. While this information has not been confirmed and still has only the status of a rumor, some Pakistani immigrants took their countrymen's words and left. What awaits them is still open for uneasy speculation.

Yesterday, a rumor spread among scores of Pakistanis seen lining up in several cities of America to register under the new INS Special Registration requirement that Pakistan’s name is now removed from the required registration list.

The New York desk of the Daily Khabrain (Daily News) reported that the registrations of Pakistanis started on the 13th of January 2003. Pakistanis could be seen congregating in front of INS offices in Los Angeles, Houston, and New York. According to the BBC, a rumor suddenly spread through the sky, using a Pakistani newspaper report as its foundation, that American officials had spoken to Pakistani Foreign Minister Mian Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri and reassured him that Pakistan would be removed from the list of nations whose residents are being mandated to register at the INS. As soon as this information became public, dozens of Pakistanis left without registering, stating that until the matter is cleared up they will not register. The BBC also said that very few people in New York and elsewhere registered as a result of this rumor.

When the Pakistani Embassy was questioned regarding this matter, they gave no indication or signal substantiating this rumored report. There was no official or unofficial statement from the Pakistani Embassy confirming or denying the purported discussion between Mian Kasuri and American INS officials.

Unconfirmed reports put the number of registered Pakistanis in New York at between 25 and 30 individuals.

Translated From Urdu By Manav 'Maasoom' Sachdeva

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