Interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti urged illegal immigrants residing in Pakistan to voluntarily return to their home countries and stated that the government has now concluded its plan for their repatriation.
This announcement comes with just a few days left until the government’s October 31st deadline for undocumented immigrants to depart from Pakistan. Earlier this month, the government issued an ultimatum to all unauthorized immigrants, including Afghan nationals, to leave Pakistan by the specified date, or they would face the risk of imprisonment and deportation to their respective countries.
This decision was made during a high-level committee meeting chaired by interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, with the presence of Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir and other officials. The committee also determined that border crossings would require valid passports and visas, with electronic Afghan identity cards (e-tazkiras) being accepted only until October 31.
The government’s recent announcement to repatriate illegal immigrants, initially criticized for appearing to target Afghan refugees, has been clarified. The interim interior minister confirmed the finalization of the repatriation plan during a press conference in Islamabad. Holding centers have been established across regions, providing medical care and food to those being repatriated. Special consideration will be given to women, children, and the elderly. However, after November 1, strict measures will be applied to all illegal residents without valid travel documents. They will be expelled from the country, not detained. There are currency limits for those leaving, with rules being prepared for Afghan nationals, allowing 50,000 Afghan currency per family.
Bugti issued a stern warning to Pakistanis aiding illegal immigrants and emphasized the government’s knowledge of their locations. He encouraged voluntary returns and confirmed the implementation of the repatriation plan after November 1.
He also announced the establishment of reporting hotlines and centers, ensuring respectful treatment of foreigners. The government welcomes legal immigrants for business and investment but explicitly stated that smuggling dollars would not be permitted.