Pakistan has announced that there will be no extension to the deadline for the forced repatriation of undocumented immigrants, mostly Afghan nationals. The caretaker Interior Minister revealed that foreign nationals without identity documents will be kept at ‘holding centres’ before deportation to their respective countries. Instead of keeping them in prisons, the authorities will house them in detention centres set up in all provinces, including Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Islamabad. The provincial governments will bear the costs for these centres. The immigrants will be provided with meals and medical facilities, but after the November 1 deadline, the government will not compromise on the issue of expulsion. Families being expelled will only be allowed to carry their local currency up to 50,000 afghanis. Funds exceeding this limit can only be wired through proper banking channels. The minister also stated that those immigrants who have illegally procured Pakistani identity cards or passports through the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) will be expelled. Action will be taken against their ‘local facilitators’ and Pakistanis who are helping such immigrants. The government has done geo-fencing and identified areas where illegal immigrants are residing. The army chief has emphasized that the safety and security of Pakistanis is of paramount importance. The Foreign Office Spokesperson confirmed that Pakistan has communicated with authorities in Kabul on the return of illegal Afghans to their homeland. The deadline for immigrants to leave the country will not be extended.
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