Pakistan kicks off evicting illegal Afghans
ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: The evacuation of Afghan citizens living illegally in Pakistan kicked off on Thursday as 16 trucks carrying 20 families reached the Torkham border.
After the completion of legal requirements, these 20 families, which comprise 350 people, will be allowed to enter Afghanistan.
In a related development, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) demolished the illegal Afghan settlement near Margalla Town, Islamabad on the instructions of the federal government.
Action against illegal Afghan residents in Islamabad has been under way for almost two months.
According to the police spokesperson, 1,126 people were checked in various operations. Of them, 623 people were released on presentation of legal identification documents. However, the spokesperson added that 503 of them were sent to jail for not having the documents.
He continued that these 503 people were being produced before different courts under Section 14 of the Foreigners Act. A total of 22,000 Afghan citizens have been revealed to be residing in Islamabad. A crackdown will begin after the deadline of October 31 given by the federal government to track down illegal ones.
A special meeting was held between the federal police officers and the officials of the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad.
The K-P Commissionerate for Afghan refugees said the number of registered citizens of the neighbouring country in the province was one million.
It added that 750,000 Afghans entered Pakistan illegally – over 300,000 of them who came to the country after the establishment of the Taliban government.
In K-P, 3,911 Afghans were found involved in various crimes this year.
The K-P police chief said Afghan citizens had carried out 75% of the suicide attacks in the province. There are around 850,000 Afghan citizens in Balochistan – around 250,000 of them living illegally. In Karachi, the Sir Syed police rounded up 10 Afghans residing illegally in the country and registered cases against them.
Pakistan has issued a notification, banning several items imported in the Afghan transit trade. The commerce ministry has added to the negative list 59 tariff lines of home appliances, 17 tariff lines of fabrics, 14 items of make-up, 12 types of dry fruit, tyres and vacuum flasks.
Officials said smugglers were importing many goods under the guise of the Afghan transit trade.
It has been decided to build Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) immigration counters inside five major prisons across the country to deal with the return of illegal Afghan nationals.
In a statement, the interior ministry warned illegal foreigners to leave Pakistan by October 31 or face action by its authorities.