Minister warns of action against those who shelter illegal immigrants

illegal immigrants

LAHORE: Punjab’s Caretaker Information Minister Amir Mir has announced that anyone who shelters or rents property to non-nationals and illegal immigrants will face legal action after October 31 — the deadline set by Pakistan for all illegal immigrants to leave the country or face deportation.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore, Mir said that the Punjab cabinet has approved a deportation plan for the undocumented residents, who will be sent back to their respective countries through designated borders.

He said that holding areas have been set up at 36 locations across the province to detain the illegal immigrants until their repatriation.

According to Mir, an operation is under way to identify and arrest all foreign nationals who are living in Pakistan without legal status. He said that in Punjab alone, 33,000 such individuals have been found so far.

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

He warned that there will be no mercy for those who refuse to leave voluntarily by November 1. He also said that the province has collected a complete data on the whereabouts of the illegal immigrants and will take action against any Pakistani nationals who will assist them in staying in the country.

Pakistan hosts millions of Afghans who fled their country during the Soviet invasion in 1979 and the Taliban takeover in 2021.

Around 1.7 million of them are estimated to be living in Pakistan illegally. Pakistan says it took the decision to deport them after finding their involvement in crimes, smuggling, and attacks against the government and army. The crackdown has been criticized by human rights groups and former US diplomats.

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