As the deadline for the return of illegal immigrants has lapsed, the Pakistan government is poised to launch an operation targeting foreign nationals residing illegally in the country. To facilitate this operation, 49 holding points have been strategically established nationwide.
These 49 holding areas and points serve as critical stations for the repatriation of illegal foreign nationals. The primary objective is to process these individuals and ensure their dignified return across the border.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three holding points have been set up in Peshawar, Haripur, and Landi Kotal. Similarly, Balochistan hosts three holding points in Quetta, Pishin, and Chagai, while Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad each have one designated holding point.
The repatriation process for illegal Afghan refugees will involve eight crossing points, predominantly located in regions adjacent to the Afghanistan border in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Furthermore, a one-document (passport) regime will be implemented at the Pak-Afghan border starting November 1.
It has been reported that 92,928 illegal residents have already returned to their respective homelands. However, Afghan residents express concerns that they were not granted sufficient time by the government to depart from Pakistan.
Sources reveal that approximately 1,730,000 Afghan citizens in Pakistan lack legal residence documents, with 880,000 refugees awaiting legal status.
It is noteworthy that earlier this month, the federal government set an October 31 deadline for all foreign nationals residing unlawfully in Pakistan to exit the country. Additionally, a digitized e-tazkira system was introduced for Afghan citizens on October 10, which will remain in effect until the end of the month.
Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfaraz Bugti recently affirmed that there would be no extension to the deadline for evacuating Afghan refugees. Preparations for the repatriation of illegal foreign individuals have been fully completed.