Islamabad- Pakistani security forces on Wednesday rounded up, detained and deported dozens of Afghans who were living in the country illegally, after a government-set deadline for them to leave expired, authorities said.
The sweep is part of a new anti-migrant crackdown that targets all undocumented or unregistered foreigners, according to Islamabad, though it mostly affects some 20 lakh Afghans.
The crackdown has drawn widespread criticism from United Nations’ agencies, rights groups and the Taliban-led administration in Afghanistan. “Today, we said goodbye to 64 Afghan nationals as they began their journey back home,” Interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
The authorities said sweeps took place in Karachi, Rawalpindi and other areas bordering Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, Zabihullah Mujahid, the main spokesman for the Taliban government, expressed concerns over forced expulsion of Afghans, saying that the past 45 years of wars and conflict in Afghanistan had forced millions to migrate. The Afghan migrants have not created any problems in their host countries, he added. — Agencies
20 lakh immigrants to be affected
Islamabad’s decision to expel undocumented immigrants mostly affects some 20 lakh Afghans. Several of them fled their country after the Taliban takeover in 2021.
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