The Pakistani government announced on Monday that it is deporting 1.1 million illegal immigrants from the country.
According to the state news agency Associated Press Pakistan, this decision includes “Afghans with residence permits.”
According to Pakistani media outlets, the deportation plan will be implemented in three stages. In the first stage, all undocumented immigrants will be deported, and in the subsequent stages, Afghan immigrants with residence permits will also be expelled.
Associated Press Pakistan reported that approximately 700,000 Afghan immigrants must renew their residence permits.
Starting November 1, 2023, the Pakistani government will introduce a “single-document system” for all border checkpoints with Afghanistan, which requires Afghan citizens to possess a passport and visa for entry into Pakistan, as announced by Pakistani officials.
Tensions between Kabul and Islamabad have contributed to the deportation of long-term Afghan residents in Pakistan. Islamabad has asked the Taliban to block the entry of Afghan quasi-militants responsible for violent attacks in Pakistan, but this request has not been met.
An official source told Associated Press Pakistan that “illegal foreign citizens threaten Pakistan’s security.” This official has accused Afghan citizens of being involved in terrorist activities.
Reports suggest that at least some members of the Taliban have been involved in
quasi-militant operations against Pakistani security forces.
Pakistani officials emphasized that Afghan citizens have been involved in previous militant attacks in the country, including the attack on an army base in Balochistan.
The Pakistani Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad, requesting the Taliban to take custody of the bodies of three paramilitaries from Kandahar province who were involved in the attack.
Pakistan’s Interior Ministry has also worked on an Afghan immigrant deportation plan with the Taliban government. The plan involves gathering Afghan immigrants and transporting them to the Afghan border using motor vehicles.