ISLAMABAD, Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti said on Sunday that the government was encouraging voluntarily repatriation of undocumented foreign nationals residing in the country until November 1.
“After the November 1 deadline, there will be no compromise on the issue of the expulsion of illegal immigrants,” the minister told a private news channel.
Divulging details of the repatriation plan, Bugti said after the deadline, the law will take its course and such individuals would be captured and housed in ‘holding centers’ established in all provinces, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
From ‘holding centers’ within one to four weeks, their journey of repatriation would start.
In response to a query, he said the authorities have been clearly directed to keep all the inmates in a dignified manner, especially women, children, and the elderly, who would be treated “with respect” and provided with meals and medical facilities.
He clarified that during the first phase, those with no valid documents will be repatriated, and those who illegally procured Pakistan’s national identity cards or passports through the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) will also be expelled following the cancellation of their identity documents.
The interior minister said that the authority was working round the clock, and the government had done geo-fencing and identified areas where illegal immigrants were residing.
In response to another query, Bugti said the ratio of voluntarily returning aliens varies from day to day, and so far, over 15,000 aliens have left the country.
The repatriation process of undocumented immigrants was expedited through the Torkham border, where illegal refugees were being seen returning to their homes in significant numbers with only two days left until the October 31 deadline, said the minister.
Similarly, those with a Proof of Registration Card (PoR) would be repatriated at the end of the day. “Ultimately, they have to repatriate, as the situation in their country has improved and life returned to normalcy,” he remarked.
To another query, the minister said there will be no human crisis after this exercise, adding that with this practice, we want to make our house in order by improving law and order situation and effective border management.
“We are ensuring world practices in our country by deporting and repatriating aliens,” he maintained.
He said the government wants this process accomplished without anyone suffering.
In response to another question, Bugti said those being expelled from the country would only be allowed to carry their local currency, amounting to Rs50,000 per family. In the case of Afghan families, they can carry 50,000 Afghan Afghanis, he added.