Islamabad(TNS) : Deadline expires; Preparations are completed to arrest foreign nationals who have not left Pakistan.

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Stranded Afghan nationals stand in queues as they wait for the reopening of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing point in Chaman on August 13, 2021, after the Taliban took control of the Afghan border town in a rapid offensive across the country. (Photo by - / AFP)

Pakistani authorities have said they are finalizing preparations to arrest all those who do not voluntarily leave Pakistan after a government-mandated deadline for deporting illegally staying foreigners expires. Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, says that no country or nationality is being taken into account in the application of the evacuation of illegal resident foreigners, while all registered foreigners do not come under its scope. The spokesman has said that after seeing the UNHCR statement to the media, the evacuation plan applies to all foreigners residing illegally in Pakistan. No country or nationality is being taken into account in the application of this plan, while all registered foreigners living in Pakistan are not covered by this plan. This decision was taken keeping in view the sovereign laws of Pakistan, international norms. The government of Pakistan is committed to the security and protection of people affected by the bad situation, hosting millions of Afghan brothers and sisters for 40 years is a living proof.
The international community should make joint efforts to protect the situation of refugees on a priority basis, Pakistan will continue to work with international partners in this regard..
According to caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi, all preparations have been completed to launch a comprehensive crackdown on illegal immigrants and those who shelter them. According to the report, Caretaker Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said that no compromise will be made on the issue of eviction of illegal immigrants after the November 1 deadline. A spokesman for the Department of Interior and Tribal Affairs of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said that between October 1 and October 23, around 33,555 undocumented Afghan migrants left the country through Khyber district. During the last 24 hours, 149 families in 174 trucks returned to Afghanistan. An official of the Commissioner for Afghan Refugees told that more than 1.5 million Afghan citizens have returned to Pakistan since the Afghan Taliban seized power in Kabul on August 15, 2021. I entered. About half of them are registered with UNHCR seeking resettlement in Europe, UK, USA and other countries while the rest of the citizens do not have any travel documents. Most of the undocumented Afghan nationals live in Peshawar, Karachi and Mardan. On the other hand, detailing the plan to repatriate the migrants who will be kept in the ‘holding centres’, Sarfaraz Bugti said that the process of deporting such people will begin between one and four weeks. Officials are clearly instructed to treat all people with dignity, especially women, children and the elderly, and provide them with food and medical facilities. It should be noted that during the first phase, those with valid documents will be repatriated, after which foreigners who illegally obtained Pakistani national identity cards or passports from NADRA will be deported after canceling their identity documents. will After that, those who have Proof of Registration (POR) cards will also be sent back as the conditions in their home countries are now better. The Home Minister said that the authority is working round the clock, the government has done geo-fencing, identified the areas where illegal immigrants are living. As the deadline approaches, authorities have set up ‘holding centers’ and opened additional border crossing points to speed up the evacuation process. 3 crossing points have been opened. Crossing points are being opened at Qila Saifullah, Qamarud din Kariz and Baracha Noor Wahab in Chagai district to help ensure the evacuation of Afghan and Iranian Baloch migrants by the October 31 deadline. Balochistan Information Minister Jan Achakzai said that illegal immigrants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be sent back from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa crossing points, after the deadline, the government will implement its plans to evacuate illegal immigrants from across the province with the cooperation of all relevant institutions. He said that the data of all illegal immigrants who voluntarily return to their homeland will be updated and protected, illegal immigrants from Sindh and Punjab should be given complete security. and they will be kept in holding centers. The Quetta Haji Camp has been converted into a holding center and additional centers have been established in the border towns of Chaman and Pishin. And necessary facilities will be provided. Every day 40 to 50 thousand people cross the Pak-Afghan border from Chaman and Aspen Baldak without passport and visa, the government will not allow this process anymore as it is not in the interest of the country and It is also not in accordance with international border norms. Unregistered migrants are returning to their home countries, more than 16 thousand Afghans have already returned with their families through the Chaman border. It is also deporting legally resident Iranian Baloch, Nigerian, Bosnian, Bangladeshi, Indian and other foreigners to their home countries. Those who rent their houses and shops to illegal immigrants will be prosecuted and Illegal properties of foreigners residing illegally in Pakistan will be confiscated. Punjab’s caretaker information minister Aamir Mir said that the Punjab government has identified 33 thousand illegal immigrants in the province in the ongoing ‘mapping’ of illegal immigrants, most of whom are Afghan citizens. Illegal immigrants are 36 in the province. According to the ‘holding points’, migrants will be deported if they do not voluntarily leave the country by October 31. Around 99,000 illegal migrants have been identified across the country, some of them in Punjab. I have been placed in holdings points. Afghan nationals were involved in the recent terrorist attacks. 24 suicide bombings took place in different parts of Pakistan.24 suicide bombings took place in different parts of Pakistan, of which 14 suicide bombers were Afghan citizens. According to United Nations data, there are 1.3 million registered refugees from Afghanistan and more than 880,000 are still living in illegal status in Pakistan. On October 3, 2023, the caretaker federal government had decided to evacuate 11 lakh foreigners residing illegally in Pakistan who are involved in other illegal activities including providing funds and facilities to terrorists. The caretaker government decided to deport the illegally staying foreign nationals for their involvement in other illegal activities including facilitating terrorists. According to the report, illegal residents will be deported in the first phase, Afghan citizens in the second phase and those with resident cards in the third phase. The report states that the foreigners residing illegally in the country have created a serious threat to the security of Pakistan. A number are involved in funding, facilitating and smuggling terrorists and the residence permits of 7 lakh Afghan nationals in Pakistan have not been renewed. People who have not extended their visas will be deported, in the second phase people with Afghan citizenship will be deported, in the third phase people with resident cards will be deported. The Ministry of Interior has formulated a plan in consultation with stakeholders and the Afghan government. It was informed that in this regard, the Ministry of Interior has issued instructions to the relevant institutions to compile a record of Afghan citizens residing without permits and plan to bring them to the Afghan border. It should be noted that a few days ago it was reported that the British government has decided to change its policy regarding the return of Afghan citizens eligible for political asylum living in Pakistan and Iran. The decision came after the announcement that foreign nationals living in Pakistan without documents would have to leave the country by November 1 or face forced eviction, with British ambassadors to both countries urging their government to ‘clearly warned that these refugees cannot be protected from detention and deportation. On October 27, 2023, the British government began the evacuation of Afghan refugees eligible for political asylum who left Kabul and settled in Pakistan after the Taliban took over in 2021. According to reports, more than 3,000 Afghan nationals, most of whom used to work for the British Army, will be resettled in the UK. They have been stuck in Pakistan since last year, when British authorities made their evacuation conditional on residency arrangements. Their evacuation has been a controversial issue for the British government, with two refugees eligible for resettlement suing in a London court, forcing London to speed up the process. A chartered flight carrying 132 Afghan refugees left Islamabad International Airport for London Airport at 3:15 pm. On this occasion, special security arrangements were made at the airport, women and children were among the refugees taken to the UK. Forced repatriation of Afghan citizens should be stopped to save them from being crushed. According to the report, Raveena Shamdasani, the spokesperson of the United Nations Human Rights Office, said in a statement in Geneva that we call on the Pakistani authorities to continue to provide protection to those in need and ensure that in the future May their return be safe, dignified and voluntary and fully in accordance with international law,” he said. Intends to deport existing foreign nationals, a move that will disproportionately affect the more than 1.4 million Afghans who live in Pakistan without documentation. More than 2 million Afghans are in Pakistan illegally. of which at least 600,000 Afghan citizens left Afghanistan after the Taliban took over in August 2021. Since the announcement of the deadline for the evacuation of illegal immigrants on October 3 this month, the United Nations The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Refugees (IOM) have reported a sharp increase in the number of returnees from Pakistan to Afghanistan. A recent report put the number of Afghans who left Pakistan at 59,780, with 78 percent of those who returned citing fear of arrest as the reason for leaving Pakistan.