Govt initiates nationwide operation to deport illegal foreign nationals

Govt initiates nationwide operation to deport illegal foreign nationals


No country or nationality will be taken into account in the application of the plan

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ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) - The government has initiated a nationwide operation to deport the illegal foreign nationals including Afghans after the expiry of the deadline.

The Interior Ministry, for the first time in country's history, has issued instructions to all provinces to deport illegal foreigners under the Foreign Act 1946.

The caretaker government has warned of strict legal action if any Pakistani is found to be involved in harboring illegal foreign nationals.

The repatriation plan will apply to all foreigners residing illegally in Pakistan. No country or nationality will be taken into account in the application of the plan.

The security forces have completed the process of identifying illegal Afghans by mapping and geo-fencing. Identification process of 200,000 illegal foreigners residing in Sindh has been completed.

Of the 300,000 Afghan citizens residing illegally in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, individuals who do not leave voluntarily will be shifted to detention centers.

In Punjab and Balochistan, operation has also been started to deport illegal Afghans and their data is being checked by scanning.


Thousands of Afghan refugees and migrants in Pakistan rushed to the border to return home as deadline for undocumented immigrants, including Afghan refugees, to return to their countries on a voluntary basis expired on Tuesday.

The government has said it would begin arresting undocumented Afghans and taking them to new holding centres from today (Wednesday), from where they will be processed and forcibly returned to Afghanistan.

More than 200,000 Afghan immigrants have voluntarily gone back to their countries from Torkham border crossing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Chaman crossing in Balochistan provinces this month.

Thousands of Afghan refugees are waiting for their turn in vehicles, lorries, and trucks, and the number continues to grow.

Pakistan has said the deportations are to protect the "welfare and security" of the country, where anti-Afghan sentiment has been growing amid prolonged economic hardship and a rise in cross-border militancy.

The government says more than four million foreigners live in Pakistan, a vast majority of them Afghan nationals who sought refuge over the last four decades after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

More recently, after the Taliban regained power in 2021, Pakistani officials say between 600,000 to 800,000 Afghans migrated to Pakistan. The Pakistani government claims nearly 1.7 million of those Afghans are undocumented.