Pakistan’s police transfer undocumented Afghans to transit camps as deportation continues

Pakistani police initiated search and cordon operations on Friday in areas where Afghan nationals have been residing. This action followed the expiration of a deadline for the expulsion of all undocumented foreigners from the country.

Numerous foreigners, predominantly Afghans, were seen at a Karachi police station, awaiting transfer to temporary transit camps. Senior police officer Irfan Bahadur confirmed that a search and cordon operation had been conducted in Junejo Colony, a refugee settlement, where over 900 houses were meticulously searched.

“Today we carried out a search and cordon operation in Junejo Colony, where we carried out a door-to-door search operation. We searched more than 900 houses while respecting the dignity of the households. We had women constables and policewomen, who carried out thorough searches of the homes,” stated senior police officer Irfan Bahadur.

Despite calls from the United Nations, human rights organizations, and Western embassies urging Pakistan to reconsider its plan to expel over 1 million of the 4 million Afghan residents in the country, Pakistani authorities have remained firm in their stance. They argue that these individuals have been involved in Islamist militant activities and crimes that have posed security threats to the nation—a claim that Kabul refutes.

Many of these migrants fled Afghanistan during the prolonged armed conflicts that have persisted since the late 1970s, and the rise of the Islamist Taliban after the withdrawal of U.S.-led coalition forces in 2021 triggered yet another wave of displacement.