The caretaker government in Pakistan is planning to repatriate over 1.1 million Afghan nationals living illegally in the country back to Afghanistan, sources have told WION. The caretaker cabinet on Tuesday (Sep 26) approved the move. The meeting of caretaker cabinet was held in Pakistani capital Islamabad.
Pakistan shares a border with Afghanistan but it is largely porous with no impediment to movement of people between the two sides. The terror elements from Afghanistan have often crossed border into Pakistan and maintained their presence in regions which have, over the years, come to be known as terrorist havens.
The latest decision by the caretaker cabinet has come in the wake of influx of around 600,000 Afghans into Pakistan after the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan. About 400,000 of these are residing in Pakistan illegally.
Sources have told WION that at least 0.7 million Afghans already staying in Pakistan have not renewed their proof of residence in the country.
Afghans staying illegally in Pakistan have in the past attracted allegations of being involved in terror activities as well as in other crimes such as currency smuggling, illegal trade of commodities and more.
The Afghans have also been accused of being sympathetic to terror organisations, providing them funding and support.
The repatriation of Afghans staying illegally in Pakistan is to take place in three phases.
In phase one, those Afghans who are staying in Pakistan without proper documents and those who haven’t renewed their documents and visa will be deported.
In second phase, focus will be on the status of Afghan citizens. The third phase will focus on proof of residence card holders.
Source : wion