Govt decides to expel illegal Afghan nationals

The caretaker government has decided to deport 1.1 million Afghan nationals living in Pakistan illegal amid the ongoing crackdown on those involved in terrorism, crimes as well as the smuggling of US dollar, sugar and fertilizer.

Sources say the federal cabinet has approved the plan – a summary sent by the interior ministry – concerning the subject through circulation.

Under the plan, the two categories of Afghans – illegal residents and those not renewing their visas – are to be expelled from the country in the first phase. It would be followed by the Afghan nationality and residence card holders in the next two phases.

It is said that the plan was prepared in the consultation with all stakeholders including the Afghan government.

The development comes as the Afghan nationals residing in Pakistan illegally are found involved in terrorism acts as well as funding and facilitating the elements carrying out terror activities in the country.

Moreover, they are also responsible for the cross-border smuggling of dollar, sugar and fertilizer – a practice that has seriously damaged Pakistan’s economy by depreciating the rupee and creating shortage of these two basic commodities, which resulted rising prices.

Their presence in Pakistan is stated to be a serious threat to the country’s security, sources said, adding that around 0.4 million Afghans had entered Pakistan illegally after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.

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