Seven Pakistani nationals narrowly escaped deportation on Sunday when authorities confirmed their true identity as locals, dispelling the initial belief that they were Afghan nationals.
Dawn News reported that these individuals had been apprehended in Punjab due to their inability to verify their identities and their lack of proficiency in Urdu or Punjabi.
The individuals were detained under Section 14 of the Foreigners Act of 1946, and authorities intended to identify them using the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra).
“They were arrested under Section 14 of Foreigners Act, 1946,” an official told Dawn News, adding that authorities were available to identify them through the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra).
Eventually, it was determined that these men were indeed from Punjab, and they were safely returned to their home region.
Official statistics revealed that 594 individuals detained under the Foreigners Act were initially slated for repatriation to Afghanistan from Punjab. However, 29 of them were discovered to be Pakistanis and were sent back to Punjab instead.
Authorities emphasized the meticulous record-keeping of every individual being repatriated to Afghanistan through Nadra, initially including all Afghan illegal immigrants but later exempting women and children under the age of 14.
However, experts are raising concerns about the lack of transparency in the deportation of Afghan refugees, highlighting the risk of foreigners entering Afghanistan under the guise of nationals.
International aid organizations are also expressing alarm over the harsh conditions faced by Afghan returnees in the country, especially during the severe winter.
The influx of Afghan migrants has been significant, with over 320,000 individuals entering the country through the Spinboldak and Turkham border crossings since November 1.
These developments underscore the urgent need for clear immigration policies and humanitarian support to address the challenges facing both Afghan returnees and security.