Pakistan has announced that it will deport 1.7 million Afghans and other ‘illegal immigrants’

Pakistan’s overseas ministry has stated it will lift out plans to deport all “illegal immigrants” – inclusive of 1.7 million Afghans – in a “phased and orderly manner”, in an obvious try to assuage significant worries after the policy’s surprising announcement in the past this week.

Islamabad stated on Tuesday that everyone besides legitimate documentation would have to go lower back to their international locations voluntarily earlier than 31 October to keep away from mass arrests and pressured deportation.

The announcement despatched a wave of panic amongst these residing in the u. s. except papers and drew substantial condemnation from rights groups. Activists say any compelled deportation of Afghans will put them at a grave risk.

Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, the spokesperson for Pakistan’s ministry of overseas affairs, stated on Friday that the new coverage used to be now not aimed fully at Afghans.

“We have been internet hosting Afghans refugees generously for the previous 4 decades”, due to the fact that thousands and thousands fled Afghanistan all through the 1979-1989 Soviet occupation, she said.

Those 1.4 million Afghan nationals who had been registered as refugees in Pakistan want now not worry, she added.

“Our coverage is solely about unlawful persons who are right here illegally, no depend what their nationality is,” she said. “But, sadly there has been a misunderstanding or misrepresentation and for some motive humans have beginning associating this with Afghan refugees … The legal guidelines in Pakistan are comparable to legal guidelines in many different countries.”

Amnesty International has requested Pakistan to permit the Afghans to proceed to stay in the country, and a spokesperson for the UN secretary general, António Guterres, has expressed worries about the policy.

“As a remember of precept it is essential that no refugees be despatched again besides it being a voluntary and dignified return,” they advised newshounds in New York on Wednesday.

In Kabul, the Taliban government’s chief spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, criticised Pakistan’s announcement, pronouncing it used to be “unacceptable” and that Islamabad need to rethink the decision.

Although Pakistani protection forces and police have robotically been arresting and deporting Afghans except legitimate files in current years, this is the first time that the authorities has introduced plans for a essential crackdown.

The tendencies come amid a upward push in assaults via the Pakistani Taliban, acknowledged as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, who have hideouts and bases in Afghanistan however normally pass into Pakistan to stage attacks.

The outlawed TTP frequently declare assaults on Pakistani protection forces however they have distanced themselves from a pair of suicide bombings final week that killed fifty nine human beings in areas bordering Afghanistan. No team has claimed responsibility.

Baloch stated some humans had already started out going again to their countries. “We are permitting a grace duration till the quit of the month,” she said.

Pakistan has lengthy demanded that the Taliban authorities in Afghanistan stop their aid for the TTP.

The Pakistani Taliban are a separate team however are allied with the Afghan Taliban, who seized manage of Afghanistan in mid-August 2021 as US and Nato forces had been in the closing weeks of their withdrawal after 20 years of war. The takeover has emboldened the TTP.

Baloch additionally stated that Pakistan’s overseas minister, Jalil Abbas Jilani, held talks in China, the place he is on an reliable visit, with Afghanistan’s Taliban-appointed overseas minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi.

“Their assembly used to be very productive,” she stated barring elaborating, and she advised the Afghan Taliban to disarm the TTP so that the Afghan territory would no longer be a launching pad for assaults in Pakistan.

But she insisted that the deliberate crackdown used to be now not aimed at bargaining with the Afghan Taliban authorities. “Absolutely, this is no longer the case all … we solely choose all unlawful migrants to go back,” she said.