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Friday, March 01, 2024  
19 Shaban 1445  

Illegal immigrants on the radar of Pakistan’s Apex Committee

Statement says decision was taken under National Action Plan
A file photo shows caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar presides over a cabinet meeting in Islamabad. PID
A file photo shows caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar presides over a cabinet meeting in Islamabad. PID

The Apex Committee decided on Tuesday to expel illegal refugees from Pakistan and confiscate their properties after the deadline set for their return ends.

“All illegal foreign nationals will be bound to return to their country,” a statement issued by the committee said. “After the end of the deadline, the illegal immigrants will be evicted and their properties will be confiscated.”

The committee met in Islamabad to discuss the ongoing crackdown on smugglers and hoarders. The meeting was presided over by caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar. The meeting was also attended by Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir and members of intelligence agencies as well.

The development comes a few days after media reports said that the federal government had decided to send back 1.1 million refugees based on a summary by the interior ministry. The repatriation process was to be carried out in stages.

On Sunday, reports surfaced from Islamabad that an operation by the Counter Terrorism Department had rounded up 800 Afghan refugees, half of whom were found to have no identification documents.

In recent interviews, Kakar clarified that not all Afghan refugees would be expelled and only those living without legal documents would be expelled.

Interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti told a press conference after the meeting that the government has set a November 1 deadline for immigrants to leave the country. He also spoke about the operation after the deadline.

The decision was taken under the National Action Plan, said the statement. Officials briefed the participants of the meeting on the counter-terrorism measures. They strongly condemned recent terrorist incidents.

A terrorist attack in Balochistan on 12 Rabiul Awwal rocked Pakistan. The suicide bombing killed at least 59 people and over 60 injured, raising concerns about the country’s security situation.

The Apex Committee has also decided that actions would also be taken against the facilitators of terrorists.

“Terrorists are the enemies of the country and nation,” caretaker PM Kakar said.

A “zero-tolerance” would be observed against terrorists, according to the statement and the ongoing operation would continue.

On Monday, Bugti said: “This appeasement policy has always harmed the state and Pakistan. This monopoly of violence will always be with the state and not will be given to anyone else.”

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