Pakistanis face mass deportation as Europe tightens noose around illegal immigrants


ISLAMABAD: At least 17 Pakistanis entered European countries daily from January 2021 to October 2023, while 145 Pakistanis faced deportation daily from foreign countries due to illegal entry, according to an official report presented by the interior ministry to the Senate of Pakistan on Tuesday.

The document revealed that a total of 17,773 Pakistanis entered European countries illegally. The majority, 15,040, entered Turkey, followed by 1,377 in Greece, and 962 in Germany.

In 2021, 1,270 Pakistanis entered European countries illegally, a number that surged to 12,837 in 2022 before declining to 3,666 in October 2023.

Over the same period, 154,205 Pakistanis were deported, with 122,881 deported by air and 31,324 by land. In 2021, 58,758 Pakistanis were deported, followed by 51,869 in 2022, and 43,578 in 2023.

A total of 44,283 immigrants were offloaded from flights, either due to insufficient or fake documents. In 2021, 6,774 immigrants were offloaded, 19,055 in 2022, and 18,454 up to October 2023.

Regarding the death cases of immigrants attempting to cross borders illegally, the document mentioned that such cases are not regularly reported to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). However, the last reported case was the Greece boat tragedy in April 2023.

In response, the FIA launched an operation to trace the victims and uncover human smugglers involved. Out of 281 reported victims, 15 were identified through biometric or DNA identification, based on information provided through diplomatic channels.

Taking action against the smugglers, the document highlighted that the FIA and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) governments collaborated to combat human smuggling. Out of 281 victims identified across Pakistan, 193 were nominated in FIRs. Additionally, 240 nominated smugglers were identified, 89 were arrested, and 35 were reportedly living and working abroad.

The document further noted that 30 police stations, including dedicated anti-human trafficking circles at the provincial headquarters level, are presently functional in FIA across Pakistan.

During the specified period, 1,042 cases were registered against human traffickers. Out of these, 572 cases were challaned, 494 smugglers and agents were arrested, and 499 nominated for challans were punished.

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