Muhammad Faheem

The government of Pakistan is rapidly approaching the deadline for the return of foreigners residing illegally in the country, with a mere 8 days remaining. The primary focus of this effort is on facilitating the return of Afghan nationals.

As per federal government statistics, a remarkable 3,382 Afghan individuals departed from their home country on a single day, specifically on October 21. This group of returning Afghan citizens comprises 1,149 men, 914 women, and 1,419 children.

In an ongoing effort, 231 families have been repatriated to Afghanistan, making use of 61 vehicles to facilitate this process. To date, an impressive total of 59,561 Afghan citizens have successfully returned to their homeland as part of this initiative.

Data Collection Process Initiated for Registered Afghan Citizens in KP

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has issued directives to gather data on Afghan refugees residing across the province. The information to be collected includes details from Proof of Registration (POR) cards, Afghan Citizen Cards (ACC), visas, and other valid legal documents of all Afghan citizens.

Following these government instructions, the data collection process has commenced for Afghan citizens residing in the refugee camp in Peshawar. This camp is currently home to more than 152,000 Afghan citizens, and their data will be systematically recorded.

The district administration has outlined that this data collection process encompasses Afghan citizens holding various legal documents, including POR cards, ACCs, and both expired and valid visas.

A total of 152,659 refugees are distributed across 17 refugee camps in Peshawar, with population figures as follows: 5,959 in Kababian Camp, 3,613 in Hazar Buz Camp, 344 in Kaftan Camp, 181 in Shaheed Garhi, 2,013 in Afghan Refugee Camp One, 2,438 in Afghan Refugee Camp Two, 20,850 in Khatako Pul, 3,069 in Kamalo Camp, 4,975 in Zandai Camp, 29,313 in Baghbanan Camp, 26,200 in Maskin Camp, 1,781 in Maulvi Khalis Camp, 24,919 in Nusrat Mina Camp, 3,588 in Naguman Camp, 12,500 in Khurasan Camp, 6,444 in Khazana Camp, and 4,475 in Hajizai Camp.

Search for Illegally Residing Afghan Nationals

In a proactive move, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has initiated a search for Afghan nationals residing in Pakistan without legal authorization. To ensure the accurate registration of these individuals, they will be documented at their respective police stations.

Under the directives of the Interior Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, committees have been established by the tehsil administrations throughout the province. Each committee comprises key members, including the Station House Officer (SHO) of the relevant police station, the Girdaavar of the corresponding circle, the patwari of the particular area, and the secretary of the local village or neighborhood council.

These committees are entrusted with the task of employing every available means and resource to gather comprehensive data on illegal Afghan refugees. To facilitate real-time communication and reporting, every committee member will maintain close coordination, and the compiled daily report will be shared with the provincial government. Notably, the report will carry the signature of the Committee Chairman, ensuring the utmost precision in its preparation.

According to credible sources, the data collection process for illegally residing Afghan citizens is set to commence, and the new policy will be enforced beginning November 1. It’s worth noting that the federal government has issued an ultimatum, requiring all undocumented individuals to voluntarily leave the country by October 31.

Data on Resources Required for Foreigners’ Repatriation

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is actively procuring details on the essential resources needed for the successful repatriation of foreigners residing illegally within the province. This comprehensive assessment encompasses requisites such as food provisions, travel expenses, and fuel necessities. These crucial data sets will serve as the basis for the allocation of funds to the pertinent authorities.

The ongoing process of collecting and verifying data on illegally staying foreigners extends across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Concurrently, preparations are underway to facilitate their return to their respective home countries. Sources indicate that requisitions regarding the needs of Afghan citizens residing without legal authorization in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been extended to all districts.

A recent meeting presided over by the Deputy Commissioner in Peshawar, has entrusted the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Rehabilitation and Resettlement, alongside the Peshawar Accounts Officer, with the responsibility of formulating a comprehensive report. This report will address the identification of suitable campsites and a thorough estimation of the financial requirements.

Moreover, the evaluation of essential resources, including larger vehicles for the transportation of foreigners from Peshawar to the Torkham border, will be carefully assessed. In addition, the police force has been instructed to delineate their specific needs, encompassing food, fuel for squad vehicles, and various miscellaneous items. To facilitate this process, they will promptly submit their funding requirements to the district administration.