Deadline for voluntary return ends, Pakistan to take action against illegal immigrants

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Pakistan has issued a deadline for all illegal immigrants to leave the country voluntarily by November 1 or face deportation. According to officials, Pakistan is home to millions of Afghan migrants and refugees, with around 1.7 million of them being undocumented. Since the beginning of October, over 100,000 Afghan migrants have already left Pakistan, with the majority departing via the Torkham border in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti has warned of strict action against locals who assist and provide shelter to immigrants. Bugti also directed officials and agencies to detain undocumented immigrants respectfully in holding centers after the deadline. Any Pakistani found renting their house to illegal immigrants will be considered a partner in crime and treated accordingly. The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has collected data on undocumented immigrants through geo-fencing, and those who try to avoid the amnesty offered by the government will be apprehended. The caretaker federal government has decided to deport illegal immigrants immediately after their arrests, granting special powers to local administrations, police forces, and law enforcement agencies for repatriation. The Foreign Office has defended the decision to deport illegal immigrants, stating that it is in accordance with domestic laws and international principles. The United Nations High Commissioner called on Pakistan to suspend forcible returns of Afghan nationals, but Pakistan stated that the decision aligns with both domestic laws and international norms and principles.

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