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In a major development, the caretaker government on Tuesday directed all illegal immigrants to sell their properties and leave the country by November 1.

Addressing a press conference after the apex committee meeting under the chairmanship of the interim prime minister, Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti stated that illegal foreign residents were being given a deadline of November 1 to leave the country.

Bugti said the deadline would also apply for entry into Pakistan without a passport or visa.

Talking of Afghan, the minister informed that 1.73 million unregistered and illegal Afghans are currently living in Pakistan.

He mentioned that only e-tazkiras (electronic Afghan identity cards) would be accepted from October 10-31.

Anyone coming from November 1 onwards must have a passport and visa to enter Pakistan, Bugti said.

Interim information minister Murtaza Solangi in a post on X (formerly Twitter) also informed that the government has given 28 days to illegal foreigners to leave Pakistan.

The decision has been taken to improve law and order situation in the country, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

Army chief, civil and military officials, and other concerned authorities attended the apex committee meeting on Tuesday.

The caretaker interior minister said foreign nationals living illegally in the country have been asked to leave voluntarily.

“All the state law enforcement agencies will be mobilised to take action against the illegal foreign nationals and they will be deported after November 1,” he added.

Bugti also announced that all illegal properties and businesses being run by the illegal nationals will also be confiscated after the given deadline.

Illegal immigrants should be deported: IG Sindh

He said action would be taken as per law against any of the Pakistani citizens if he was found involved in any illegal businesses and making properties by the illegal foreign nationals.

The minister said a task force has also been constituted at the interior ministry to launch and monitor these actions.

“Safety and security of the people of Pakistan is the prime responsibility and foremost priority of the government,” Bugti said.

At least 53 dead, several injured as ‘suicide blast’ jolts Balochistan’s Mastung

He said DNA testing would also be utilised to detect those who are not Pakistani, but contain the national identity card.

A web portal with a universal number would be launched soon so that the public can also contribute by giving information of those living in Pakistan illegally and illegal activities by them, the interim minister said.

Answering a question, Bugti said out of 24 different attacks in Pakistan this year, “14 were carried out by Afghan nationals”.

More than a thousand arrested in two weeks: Afghan embassy

In a statement on X, the Embassy of Afghanistan in Islamabad said more than a thousand Afghans, including many document holders, have been detained in last two weeks.

“Despite repeated promises of the Pakistani authorities, the arrest and harassment of Afghan refugees by the police in Pakistan continues,” the embassy said.

Return must be voluntary: UNHCR spokesperson

When asked about Pakistan government’s decision to deport illegal immigrants, Qaisar Khan Afridi, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told Turkish news outlet Anadolu that “any refugee return must be voluntary and without any pressure to ensure protection for those seeking safety.”

“We have seen disconcerting press reports about a plan to deport undocumented Afghans and we are seeking clarity from our government partners,” Anadolu further quoted Afridi.

According to the report, the UNHCR spokesperson urged Pakistan to put in place a mechanism to ensure that Afghans with international protection are not deported.

“Pakistan has remained a generous refugee host for decades. This role has been acknowledged globally but more needs to be done to match its generosity,” he went on to say.

Afridi said the UNHCR stands ready to support Pakistan in developing a mechanism to manage and register people in need of international protection on its territory and respond to “particular vulnerabilities,” the Turkish new outlet reported.

Comments

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Shahid Khan Oct 03, 2023 05:02pm
We have seen this deadline as many as 50 times
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Johnny Walker Oct 03, 2023 06:05pm
There are more Afghans resident in the country than the entire armed forces and police and para militaries. Lets see if this threat/order removes even 5% of illegals.
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KU Oct 03, 2023 06:34pm
Speaks loudly about the administration's failure many times over. Now that he has announced his intentions, NADRA will be overwhelmed with bribes and business as usual, and in the end, we will find out that these Afghans are actually Pakistani citizens. Just another chapter of tales and travails of lawless Pakistan.
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Doc Asad Oct 03, 2023 07:07pm
Despite the fact that I don't trust these statements by administration but as always I really wish that this time we finally get rid of these useless and thankless afghanis forever. If there are any issues in their own country send them to their beloved India please but not here . I beg to those in power
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Tulukan Mairandi Oct 03, 2023 08:01pm
How about illegal immigrant Pakistanis in other countries?
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TheActualTruth Oct 03, 2023 08:59pm
I hate to be the guy who is odd one out and especially being the one who is speaking like Marandi (We know which station he is speaking from), but there is something that needs to be said. Everyone who is saying words like useless Afghanis and throw every illegal immigrant out, please stop and consider if every western country started deporting every Pakistani who entered illegally there, then what would you say and how would you feel. We should all pause and think that most of the immigrants wether legal or illegal or Economic Migrants who just want to provide their families with better lives, whether these are Pakistanis who are working in the European Countries or America or the Afghans who are so desperate that they are living illegally in the country like Pakistan which cannot even provide for its own citizens. (1 of 2)
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TheActualTruth Oct 03, 2023 08:59pm
And No not all Aghans do smuggling and neither all are all Afghans terrorists. And before someone says here that they are thankless or they talk against Pakistan then please do consider that most Pakistanis who work in the West and even their families here enjoy their dollars and Euros and Pounds but openly criticize these countries policies and even their way of life. What do you call them "Shameless Goras" ... right. So how is an Afghani different who maybe earning a living here in Pakistan but criticizes its policies. Please just take a breath and consider all the factors. I am not saying dont remove illegal migrants, I am just saying that dont be a hypocrite when western countries try to do the same. Atleast they are much more humane then us about it. (2 of 2)
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Parvez Oct 04, 2023 12:27am
Wow ..... haven't we heard this before.....and certain we will hear it again...and again. This again is treating the symptoms but doing nothing to cure the disease.
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