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Govt to expel over 1 million illegal immigrants, Afghan nationals living in Pakistan

Govt to expel over 1 million illegal immigrants, Afghan nationals living in Pakistan
  • PublishedOctober 2, 2023

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People walk towards a border crossing point in Pakistans border town of Chaman on July 17, 2021. — AFP
People walk towards a border crossing point in Pakistan’s border town of Chaman on July 17, 2021. — AFP
  • Govt to expel 1.1 million illegal foreigners living in Pakistan.
  • Illegal residents, people with Afghan citizenship to be deported.
  • “Illegal aliens” involved in smuggling and terror financing.

Citing security concerns, Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar-led caretaker government on Monday announced its decision to expel 1.1 million foreigners illegally residing in Pakistan.

According to details, the government will evict illegal “aliens” in the first phase along with those who do not renew their visas.

In the second and third phases, those living in Pakistan with Afghan citizenship and possessing proof of residence cards will be deported respectively.

“Illegally resident foreigners pose a serious threat to the security of Pakistan,” said a source privy to the development adding that the plan for eviction of illegally residing Afghan citizens has also been approved as this lot is involved in funding, facilitating and smuggling terrorists whereas 700,000 Afghans have not renewed their proof of residence in Pakistan.

It has been informed that in the first phase, illegal residents will be deported 

The Ministry of Interior has prepared a plan in consultation with the stakeholders and the Afghan government.

In the meantime, the ministry has also issued directives to the concerned to compile a record of Afghans living without permits and prepare a transportation plan to bring them to the Afghan border.

Apart from checking the records of all the Afghans residing in the country, officials concerned were directed to quickly deal with the applications filed regarding the registration of Afghans.

Last week Geo News reported that the government would “soon” announce a one-month deadline for all illegal foreign immigrants, including Afghans, to leave the country or face the music.

After the one-month deadline, a major countrywide crackdown will be launched by the law-enforcement agencies to identify and deport such illegal immigrants, the vast majority of whom are said to be Afghans.

The decision at the highest level has already been taken not to let Pakistan become a haven for illegal immigrants, many of whom are not only involved in criminal activities but are also part of the smuggling mafia, the source added.

It is said the authorities have already arrested many illegal Afghan immigrants who were doing illegal dollar trade at the cost of the country’s economy. A large number of such illegal foreign nationals are also doing different businesses in several major cities including the federal capital. The surge in street crime in Islamabad is also linked with the influx of illegal Afghans.

There are said to be around 1.1 million Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan illegally.

It is said as many as 400,000 Afghans entered Pakistan illegally since the return of the Afghan Taliban to Afghanistan in August 2021. There are another 700,000 Afghans identified who have been living in the country illegally.

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