videonewsasia.com AFGHAN REFUGEES FINAL WARNING

AFGHAN REFUGEES FINAL WARNING

Local News Karachi , Karachi, Pakistan

News ID : 94348 Video Version : 1 Script Version : 1

File Size : 47.20 KB duration1:15

Headline

Afghan Refugees Return Home Amid "Final Warning" From Pakistan Prior to Arrest and Deportation.

Intro

span style="mso-font-kerning:0pt">Pakistan has delivered a stern ultimatum to Afghan nationals residing within its borders, giving them until November 1 to leave the country voluntarily or face the prospect of deportation. The government's decision has stirred controversy and raised concerns as it impacts a significant number of Afghan residents.

Story

<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE AR-SA </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> </xml><![endif]-->Pakistan has delivered a stern ultimatum to Afghan nationals residing within its borders, giving them until November 1 to leave the country voluntarily or face the prospect of deportation. The government's decision has stirred controversy and raised concerns as it impacts a significant number of Afghan residents.

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span style="mso-font-kerning:0pt">It is estimated by the United Nations that approximately 3.7 million Afghans currently live in Pakistan. However, Pakistani authorities assert that this figure may be even higher, reaching 4.4 million. Startlingly, only 1.4 million of these Afghan residents possess the necessary documentation allowing them to legally stay in Pakistan.

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span style="mso-font-kerning:0pt">Interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti emphasized that the government's message concerning actions against undocumented residents was misconstrued. He clarified that the deportation drive was intended to target all illegal residents in the country, and not just Afghans.

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span style="mso-font-kerning:0pt">This statement comes as Pakistan's October 31 deadline for illegal immigrants to leave the country is just a week away. The interim government had previously announced that failing voluntary departure, all law enforcement agencies would be involved in the deportation of those residing illegally in the country. Bugti had also stated that 1.73 million unregistered illegal Afghan nationals were living in Pakistan, citing their involvement in funding and facilitating terrorists and illegal activities as the reason for their eviction. However, this decision had been criticized by various quarters, with many arguing that it disproportionately affected Afghan refugees.

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span style="mso-font-kerning:0pt">Speaking before the Senate Standing Committee on Interior, Bugti reiterated that the government's message was not limited to Afghans alone. He emphasized that anyone holding a refugee card or a visa was considered a guest in the country. He also mentioned that similar deportations were underway for illegal entrants from Iran, belonging to the Baloch community.

span style="mso-font-kerning:0pt">Bugti was quick to dispel any notion that the issue had an ethnic angle, stressing that the sole focus was on deporting illegal residents, regardless of their ethnicity.

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span style="mso-font-kerning:0pt">In response to questions about extending the deadline, Bugti indicated that there were no such proposals at the moment. He mentioned the government's hope of establishing a one-document regime after November 1, wherein individuals traveling to Pakistan would require a passport. The government has also devised phased plans for the deportation of illegal residents.

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span style="mso-font-kerning:0pt">Bugti reiterated that there was no diplomatic interference in the matter, and he underscored that such interference was unnecessary.

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span style="mso-font-kerning:0pt">Meanwhile, Sindh Home Minister retired Brig Haris Nawaz emphasized that the operation targeted all foreigners who were illegally staying in the country, debunking the idea that it was exclusive to any one nationality. Balochistan Information Minister Jan Achakzai called on political parties not to support illegal immigrants, stating that doing so would be contrary to the state's interests. The ultimatum and eviction drive continue to draw both domestic and international attention, with numerous humanitarian and human rights concerns being raised.

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