Islamabad, Oct 3 (EFE).- Pakistan issued an ultimatum on Tuesday to illegal immigrants residing in the country, asking them to leave by Oct. 31 or face deportation as a surge in militant attacks, largely blamed on Afghan nationals, plagues the nation.
Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti said that beginning Nov.1 all law enforcement agencies would start the deportation of illegal immigrants from Pakistan.
He alleged that the Afghan soil was being used against Pakistan, with the militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan taking shelter in the neighboring country.
Afghan nationals have been implicated in carrying out acts of terrorism in Pakistan, he said.
“Since January, a total of 24 suicide bombings have happened across the country, out of which 14 were carried out by Afghan nationals,” the minister said.
Pakistan is hosting an estimated 4.4 million Afghans, with 1.42 million possessing proof of registration and 850,000 holding Afghan citizen cards, said Bugti.
The remaining 1.73 million are unregistered illegal Afghans living in Pakistan, he noted.
The decision to order all illegal immigrants to leave the country or face expulsion was reached during a meeting of the National Apex Committee, which consists of both civilian and military leadership of the caretaker government led by Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar.
“We have given them a deadline of Nov.1 to willingly return to their countries. If they don’t, law enforcement agencies of the state and provinces will deport them,” the minister said.
Bugti said a task force, established within the interior ministry, would oversee the deportation of illegal immigrants and the seizure of any illegal properties or businesses they own or operate in conjunction with Pakistanis.
“Our intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies will find them, and the authorities will seize those properties and businesses,” said Bugti.
Pakistanis found aiding Afghans in their activities will be prosecuted according to the law, he said.
Bugti emphasized that the same deadline applies to those attempting to enter Pakistan without a passport or visa.
The task force will initiate measures to crack down on identity cards and passports, used for unlawful purposes. DNA testing will be used to identify those falsely claiming Pakistani identities.
A report by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies revealed that during the first half of 2023, there were at least 271 militant attacks, resulting in 389 fatalities and 656 injuries. The report indicates a 79 percent surge in terror activities during this period. EFE