NRC reports up to 10,000 daily crossings into Afghanistan as Pakistan’s expulsion deadline expires

As Pakistan’s deadline for undocumented foreigners to leave or face expulsion expired, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) revealed that up to 10,000 individuals are crossing into Afghanistan daily, causing an overwhelming situation at the border points.

Becky Roby, the advocacy manager for the Norwegian Refugee Council, said that the situation at the border points at the moment is completely overwhelming.

“There are a staggering number of people coming across the border each day. We are seeing somewhere between 9 and 10 thousand people between border points crossing on a daily basis,” Roby said.

Pakistani authorities initiated the rounding up of undocumented foreigners, with a majority of them being Afghans, just hours before the Wednesday deadline. The ultimatum, issued by the Pakistani government a month ago, could result in more than a million Afghans facing arrest and forcible expulsion.

To address the sudden influx, the Taliban-run administration in Afghanistan has established temporary transit camps and assured the provision of food and medical assistance. However, relief agencies have reported dire conditions along the border.

Despite calls from the United Nations, rights groups, and Western embassies to reconsider the expulsion plan, the Pakistani government has remained steadfast, citing concerns about Afghans’ involvement in militant attacks and criminal activities that undermine the country’s security.

Out of the over 4 million Afghans residing in Pakistan, the government estimates that 1.7 million are undocumented.