Deadline for expulsion of illegal immigrants will not be extended: Bugti

sarfaraz bugti

ISLAMABAD:  Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfaraz Bugti has declared that the deadline for the expulsion of illegal immigrants will not be extended. After the deadline expires, these individuals will be relocated to designated holding centers, he emphasized.

In a press conference held today, the interior minister disclosed that a comprehensive plan for the expulsion of illegal foreign immigrants has been finalized, and holding centers have been established in all provinces. Notably, illegal foreign immigrants will not be detained in regular jails but will be temporarily housed in these newly established holding centers.

Minister Bugti emphasized that the holding centers have also been set up in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit Baltistan. Those arriving at these holding centers will receive shelter, food, and medical facilities, ensuring their basic needs are met.

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Effective from November 1, 2023, there will be no compromise for those illegally residing in the country. Instead of arrests, they will be transferred to these holding centers. Minister Bugti outlined certain financial restrictions, mentioning that each family could retain a maximum of Rs 50,000 in cash and could bring no more than 5,000 Afghan currency.

Additionally, those involved in the production of illegal identity cards within the country will face legal consequences, and illegally acquired properties will be confiscated. Authorities will also take action against individuals who aided illegal immigrants, he said.

Minister Bugti urged those residing in Pakistan without legal documentation to voluntarily leave the country by November 1, 2023. He warned that those apprehended by the state would face more significant challenges. He further stated that the government has identified foreign nationals staying in the country illegally.

The provincial governments will bear the expenses associated with the return of illegal foreign nationals. Those found with illegal Pakistani identities will be subject to imprisonment.

Furthermore, the interior minister announced the introduction of a new visa policy to facilitate legal visits to the country. Visa holders will be welcomed as guests. The minister highlighted the government’s efforts to encourage investment from around the world, assuring a more lenient visa policy for Afghan nationals.

Minister Bugti stressed that there are two categories of illegal immigrants: those without any documents and those who have obtained false identification through bribery. He encouraged Afghan citizens to return to their home country.

” Afghanistan’s condition has improved, refugees should return to their country now”, he said.

In closing, Minister Bugti emphasized that no person will be allowed to stay in the country illegally, and efforts have been made to prevent smuggling and illegal currency transport. He highlighted the importance of the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) in national security and mentioned the appointment of an in-service General as its head.

It is important to note that the majority of individuals residing illegally in Pakistan are Afghan citizens.

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