Pakistani police resume arrests of Afghan immigrants in Islamabad

File Photo.

Pakistani police have renewed raids on the homes of Afghan immigrants in Islamabad, leading to multiple arrests and deportations, immigrants reported.

More than 1,100 migrants were detained and sent back to Afghanistan in the last day, according to Pakistani media. Authorities stated the immigrants lacked proper documentation.

Wednesday night’s raids focused on the D-17 area, predominantly inhabited by Afghan immigrants. Residents reported that police checked documents and arrested those without valid paperwork.

“Many of us, even with visas, faced challenges. The police demanded valid visas or vacated houses. It’s nearly impossible to find housing under these conditions,” said Fariba Hamdard, an Afghan immigrant in Pakistan.

Immigrants expressed concerns over increased police pressure and slowed visa renewal processes. “The Pakistani government’s stringent laws and hefty fines have made visa extensions arduous, leading to deportations for those unable to comply,” said Maria Noori, another immigrant.

Mojtabi Mohammadi Mohajer, also residing in Pakistan, noted, “In the past two years, many new immigrants had valid visas initially, but economic hardships prevented visa renewals, resulting in arrests and deportations.”

Pakistani media reports indicate that nearly 450,920 Afghan citizens have been deported or returned to Afghanistan in the last two months.

Reuters previously reported the arrest of 130 Afghan citizens awaiting U.S. refugee visas, who were subsequently deported. However, the Pakistani government assured that migrants waiting for Western countries’ visas would not be expelled.