Istanbul: Once bosom pals, Turkish people are getting increasingly wary of Pakistanis living in their country for video-stalking young children and their parents and indulging in criminal activities.

A few months back, there was a widespread public outrage against Pakistanis for surreptitiously shooting young Turkish girls and their mothers in private moments and circulating them on social media with lascivious comments.

The incident came in the wake of increased reporting of criminal activities by Pakistani criminals and gangs. In fact, Istanbul has become the hub of Pakistani gangs indulging in human trafficking, smuggling and kidnapping for ransom. The fear of Pakistani gangs is in fact terrorising Pakistani businessmen; one of whom sent out an SOS on a WhatsApp Group complaining of extortion rackets.

He mentioned the name of Kashif Zaheer Qureshi, a notorious extortionist who threatened to abduct the businessman's children if refused to pay ransom in advance. Qureshi lives in Turkey illegally and commands a network of criminal activities ranging from Turkey to South Africa.

Two kidnapping cases carried out by Pak gangsters had attracted public attention in Turkey recently. Gangsters had kidnapped four Nepalis and two Afghans for ransom. So far, six Pakistanis have been arrested on charges of abducting Nepalese. These gang members included one woman who acted as the `lookout`.

The Nepalese were abducted at gunpoint and tortured for three days. A ransom message was sent to their friends for Euros 10000. The police, however, launched a manhunt and nabbed the kidnapping gang. Another group of gangsters were arrested last year when they abducted another Pakistan and asked for a 50,000-Euro ransom for his release.

The growing visible hatred against Pakistanis was the main focus of talk during an iftar party hosted by Pakistan Ambassador Mohammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi on May 1 this year. The diplomat had invited journalists from the Anadolu Agency (AA) English department. Several other people from Turkish media outlets were also present.

Guests complained about how they were being targeted by the Turkish police. The police have visited most of their homes, questioned their family members and sought to verify all residency documents. Many complained that these visits had become quite frequent in recent times. One of the journalists said the intelligence officials had visited his home thrice.

These lamentations by Pakistani residents in Turkey show how local sentiments have turned against them in a short time. Not long ago, Turkey and Pakistan hoped to lead an Islamic resurgence under a new leadership, away from the traditional Saudi Arabia. Once, not long ago, both the countries dreamt of creating a parallel Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC).

The recent criminal activities indulged in by Pakistanis and Pak gangs have turned such bonhomie into a deep suspicion and anger.