More than 200,000 illegal immigrants have returned, says FO

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ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office informed on Thursday that at least 228,574 illegal Afghan citizens had been repatriated so far.

In a media briefing, spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that the evacuation of illegal Afghan immigrants has been ongoing since the October 31 deadline.

The government has taken practical steps to ensure the illegal foreigners are safely deported, Mumtaz added. She said that apart from other measures taken for their dignified return, transit camps equipped with proper facilities have been set up in various districts.

On a daily basis thousands of Afghan citizens return to their homeland through the Torkham and Chaman borders, the spokeswoman added.

Pakistan had issued a deadline for undocumented immigrants living in the country to voluntarily leave, or face crackdown, from November 1. This decision was met with backlash from human rights organisations and concerned individuals.

United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim for Afghanistan, Daniel Endres said on Wednesday on the social media platform ‘X’ (formerly known as Twitter) that most Afghan refugees returning are “in a very bad condition”. Endres added: “They had to wait for days to reach here.”

She said this after a number of Afghan Taliban leaders in recent weeks issued strong statements, cricticisng Pakistan’s deportation policy.

Gaza

In her weekly address today, the FO spokesperson also mentioned that Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar attended the OIC-Arab League joint meeting on November 11 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he condemned the ongoing aggression in Gaza by Israel.

At the summit, the prime minister, while expressing solidarity with the people of Palestine, called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. He also brought to attention the atrocities of India in occupied Kashmir.

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