Today, October 31, is the final day of the deadline for the deportation of foreign residents living illegally in Pakistan. In response to this deadline, thousands of Afghan citizens are accelerating their return to Afghanistan as part of the deportation process. Law enforcement agencies have conducted geo-fencing and geo-mapping to ensure compliance, and the government has decided not to extend the deadline for voluntary deportation.
As the deadline approaches, officials are taking steps to ensure that all illegal foreign nationals, including Afghan refugees, return to their respective countries. Those found to be residing in Pakistan illegally after the deadline will face legal consequences, including the confiscation of their assets.
The voluntary deportation process has seen an increase in the return of Afghan nationals, with over 86,000 undocumented Afghan citizens having already returned to Afghanistan. In the last 24 hours alone, 149 families returned in 174 trucks. From October 1 to 23, a total of 33,555 illegal immigrants returned through the Torkham border, including 2,772 Afghan families comprising men, women, and children.
It is important to note that the government clarified that the deportation campaign is not specific to any particular nationality. UN agencies estimate that there are over 2 million undocumented Afghans in Pakistan, with at least 600,000 arriving after the Taliban takeover in 2021.
Despite pressure from certain countries to review the deportation decision, Pakistan remains firm in its stance and will not show flexibility in implementing the October 31 deadline for the deportation of all foreigners residing in the country illegally.