South Asia

Pakistan deports 77 Afghan nationals despite legal residency

People waiting to cross the Torkham crossing to Pakistan. File photo

Pakistani authorities have deported 77 documented Afghan migrants through Torkham border crossing after they were apprehended from various parts of Punjab province of Pakistan, Pakistani media reported on Friday.

This action was taken despite the fact that they were legally residing in Pakistan and possessed Proof of Registration (PoR) cards.

Quoting local sources, Dawn News in Pakistan reported that a total of 93 individuals were initially detained by police in Punjab, but further investigations revealed that 16 of them were Pakistani nationals. The Pakistani nationals were subsequently released, while the 77 migrants were deported.

According to reports, there were no allegations of criminal activity against the migrants.

Figures from the Office of the Commissioner for Afghan Refugees show that over 1.5 million Afghan nationals entered Pakistan after the Taliban takeover of power in August 2021.

Pakistan has asked over 1.73 undocumented Afghan migrants to leave the country by Nov. 1 or else they will face deportation.

In a related development, Afghan immigrants in Pakistan have urged the UN Special Coordinator for Afghanistan, Feridun Sinirlioglu, to address the challenges faced by Afghan migrants in Pakistan in his forthcoming report.

They expressed deep concern about the plight of immigrants in Pakistan, asserting that their voices have gone unheard by institutions and nations alike.

The Council of Afghan Immigrants in Pakistan has made several appeals by sending letters to the United Nations Secretary-General, urging the organization to pay heed to the situation of Afghan immigrants in Pakistan.