Pakistan’s caretaker government is set to deport more than 1.1 million Afghan nationals residing illegally within the country, as reported by sources. This decision was officially approved during a meeting of the caretaker cabinet in Islamabad on Tuesday, September 26.
The Pakistan government has noted a significant influx of nearly one million Afghan refugees over the past two years, adding to the millions who have already sought refuge in the neighbouring country for an extended period.
Media reports indicate that the decision to expel illegal Afghan refugees has been made in the context of a broader crackdown on various illegal activities. This includes combating terrorism, currency smuggling, and sugar and fertiliser illegal trade.
According to sources, the federal cabinet, acting through the Interior Ministry, has approved a plan for the deportation of over 1.1 million Afghan refugees.
The caretaker cabinet’s recent decision is a response to the arrival of approximately 600,000 Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Among them, roughly 400,000 are residing in the country without legal status.
The Ministry of Interior in Pakistan has reportedly collaborated with various stakeholders, including the Taliban administration, to formulate their plan. In recent months, Pakistan’s police have intensified efforts to crack down on Afghan migrants, resulting in hundreds of arrests and the repatriation of many of them to Afghanistan.
In recent incidents, Karachi police arrested 293 Afghan nationals for residing in the city without proper travel documents. These arrests occurred during raids from September 9 to 12, with 253 illegal Afghan immigrants detained.
Police stations in Quaidabad, Shah Latif, Malir City, and Sukhan arrested 37 Afghan nationals. In addition, 68 immigrants were detained in the Korangi district and 49 in the Kemari district. Furthermore, 91 Afghan citizens were apprehended in various areas, including Gulshan Iqbal, Shahrah Faisal, and Sohrab Goth.
The Taliban has not provided any official statements or comments in response to the report concerning Afghan refugees reportedly experiencing extortion at the hands of the Pakistani government.