The government of Pakistan is taking steps to deport illegal immigrants, mostly Afghans, by setting up “holding centres” and opening additional border crossing points. The Balochistan government is opening three more crossing points to speed up the repatriation process. Similarly, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, foreigners without proper documents will be repatriated from specific crossing points. The government plans to implement its plan with full force after the deadline of October 31, involving all relevant institutions in expelling illegal foreigners.

To facilitate the process, the government will provide full security and necessary facilities to the illegal immigrants held in “holding centres”. The Quetta Haji camp has already been converted into a holding centre, and additional centres have been established in border towns. The Punjab government has identified 33,000 illegal foreign residents, mainly Afghan nationals, and is keeping them at holding points in the province. Those who do not leave the country voluntarily will be deported. The government justifies the deportation of Afghan nationals by stating their involvement in recent terror attacks.

In KP, the sites for keeping illegal immigrants have been finalized, and a control room has been established to coordinate and monitor the repatriation plan. The government plans to shift illegal immigrants from Azad Kashmir and Hazara division to a facility in Haripur district. Overall, the government aims to repatriate not only Afghan refugees but also illegal immigrants from other countries living in Pakistan. Actions will be taken against those providing shelter to illegal immigrants, and their properties will be confiscated.

Source: Dawn, October 28th, 2023

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