1,291 illegal Afghans return home in 24 hours amid November deadline

Afghan refugees

PESHAWAR: At-least 1,291 illegal Afghan residents voluntarily returned to their homeland yesterday as part of a broader effort to regularize Afghan immigration.

This group, which included 378 men, 319 women, and 594 children, comprised 133 families who took the courageous step of repatriating to Afghanistan.

Since the caretaker government’s announcement of a November 1 deadline for all illegal immigrants to leave the country or face forcible expulsion, the return of Afghan nationals has been a significant aspect of the immigration landscape. The caretaker government’s determination to address this issue has been met with mixed responses from various stakeholders.

The daily return of illegal Afghans through the Chaman border has provided hope for many seeking to comply with the government’s policy. To date, an impressive 45,432 Afghan residents have made the choice to return home, taking the first step towards obtaining legal status in their home country.

Action against illegal residents not targeted at Afghan refugees: Pakistan

Afghan authorities have also expressed their concerns about the November deadline, with Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid terming it “unacceptable.” He urged the authorities to revisit the policy, signaling a desire for dialogue to resolve this complex issue.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, a significant population of Afghans who fled the 2021 Taliban takeover awaits the processing of their applications for US Special Immigration Visas (SIVs) or resettlement in the United States as refugees. This ongoing effort underscores the need for international cooperation and support for those seeking a safer and more stable future.

The caretaker Interior Minister, Sarfraz Bugti, revealed that approximately 1.73 million Afghans in Pakistan lack legal documentation.

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