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Wednesday June 19, 2024

3 more border crossings set up to expedite repatriation of illegal foreigners

Over 280,000 undocumented Afghan nationals left Pakistan since the new policy announced in early October

By Web Desk
November 13, 2023
People gather as they wait to cross at the Friendship Gate crossing point in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border town of Chaman, on August 12, 2021. — AFP
People gather as they wait to cross at the Friendship Gate crossing point in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border town of Chaman, on August 12, 2021. — AFP

Three more border crossings were opened on Monday in Balochistan to accelerate the return of illegal immigrants including undocumented Afghans.

The new crossings were set up at the Afghan border in the province in addition to the main crossing in Chaman district, caretaker Information Minister of Balohictan Jan Achakzai was quoted as saying by the foreign news agency.

The repatriation of illegal foreign nationals including Afghans to their homeland is continuing and thousands of Afghan nationals are returning to Afghanistan via the Torkham and Chaman borders on a daily basis.

In addition to other measures for the dignified return of Afghans to their country, transit camps equipped with all facilities have also been established in various districts for their temporary accommodation.

Pakistan had given 1.7 million Afghans living illegally in the country until November 1 to leave voluntarily, or else face arrest and deportation.

The government has said the deportation of Afghans living illegally in Pakistan is driven by a security crisis, after a spike in the number of attacks in Pakistan's border regions over recent months.

"There have been 24 suicide attacks since January, 14 of these 24 were carried by Afghan nationals," caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti told reporters when he announced the order at the start of October.

Pakistan accuses the Taliban government of giving safe haven to militant groups they say are behind the attacks, such as the Pakistani Taliban (TTP).

Pakistan is also trying to crack down on cross-border smuggling, which it says is deepening the country's economic crisis, by tightening controls at legal crossings.

More than 280,000 Afghan nationals have left Pakistan since the new policy was announced in early October, according to the United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees (UNHCR).

Last week, caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar called upon the Afghan government to extradite militants residing illegally in Afghanistan and engaged in terrorist activities against Pakistan.

“We expect the Afghan government take all possible steps for the elimination of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan hideouts and training camps on its soil,” the premier said at a press conference.