Posted on October 6, 2023

Pakistan Announces Mass Deportation of ‘Illegal Immigrants’ Including Afghans

Sophia Saifi and Jessie Yeung, CNN, October 4, 2023

Pakistan, home to more than 1.7 million people who have fled violence in neighboring Afghanistan, is launching a mass deportation of “illegal immigrants,” authorities said Tuesday.

In a news conference, caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti announced a November 1 deadline for those residing in the country illegally to leave, after which “all law enforcement agencies would deport them,” he said.

As of the end of 2022, Pakistan hosted more than 1.3 million registered Afghan refugees and 427,000 people in “refugee-like situations” from Afghanistan, according to the United Nations’ refugee agency.

But their presence in Pakistan has long been controversial, with police crackdowns and threats of deportation in previous years. Hundreds of Afghans have already been deported from Pakistan this year, according to volunteer groups, citing local records.

At the news conference Tuesday, Bugti claimed that Afghan nationals carried out 14 of the 24 major terrorist attacks that have taken place in Pakistan this year.

“There are attacks on us from Afghanistan and Afghan nationals are involved in those attacks. We have evidence present for that,” he added.

Businesses and properties of “illegal aliens will be confiscated, and illegal business operators and their facilitators will be prosecuted” in the crackdown, Bugti said.

“Strict legal action will be taken against any Pakistani citizen or company providing accommodation or facilities to illegal aliens” residing in Pakistan after the deadline, he added.


Pakistan is home to one of the world’s largest refugee populations – the vast majority of them from Afghanistan. {snip}