Amir Mir – Pakistan: Mapping Reveals Over 33,000 Identified Illegal Immigrants to Face Deportation

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Punjab caretaker Information Minister Amir Mir announced on Friday that around 33,000 individuals in Punjab have been identified as illegal residents without proper legal documentation and are now set to be deported. This statement comes as the government’s deadline for illegal residents to leave Pakistan approaches on October 31. The government had previously given undocumented immigrants, including Afghan nationals, an ultimatum to vacate the country by the specified date, warning that failure to do so would result in imprisonment and deportation to their home countries. According to UN figures, there are approximately 1.3 million registered Afghan refugees and 880,000 with legal status residing in Pakistan. The information minister stated that as of now, 99,000 illegal foreign residents have been detained in Pakistan, with 33,000 lacking any documents and staying illegally in the country. He assured that only illegal residents will be deported, emphasizing that action is not being taken against any specific community. The minister also noted that law enforcement agencies have identified individuals with fake Pakistani documents and appropriate actions have been taken against them. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) has urged the Pakistani government to halt the forcible returns of Afghan nationals, emphasizing the need for safe, dignified, and voluntary returns consistent with international law. The UNHCHR spokesperson expressed concerns that the deportation measure could lead to human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests, torture, and other forms of mistreatment. With winter approaching, the large-scale deportations may worsen the already severe humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

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