Pakistan Will Not Compromise its Security by Accommodating Illegal Foreigners: PM Kakar

Mon Dec 18 2023
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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has said that the country can no longer compromise its national security by accommodating a huge number of undocumented foreigners.

In an article published in The Telegraph on Sunday, PM Kakar stated that, given the evolving dynamics of mass migration linked to conflict, climate change, and economic opportunism, Pakistan stands at a crucial juncture.

PM Kakar pointed out the global challenges faced by governments, citing the UK’s plan to deport illegal immigrants to Rwanda and the struggles of France and Italy with increasing migration pressures. PM Kakar noted that Pakistan’s immigration challenge is of a different magnitude, with four to five million migrants arriving over the last three to four decades.

While acknowledging Pakistan’s DNA of hospitality, PM Kakar emphasized the staggering socio-economic and security costs of the massive influx. He highlighted the exploitation of undocumented migrants in the black market, contributing to tax evasion and depressing wages for legitimate workers.

PM Kakar acknowledged Pakistan’s historical generosity in accommodating refugees but emphasized the need to address the challenges posed by a significant number of undocumented immigrants. Despite voluntary repatriation efforts, a considerable number have refused to formalize their status, staying in the shadows.

The prime minister explained the thorough repatriation program, aiming for voluntary, safe, and dignified repatriation. He noted the establishment of transit centers providing essential facilities and security personnel escorting immigrants to border crossings, particularly caring for women and children. “Some 93 percent of those who have returned to Afghanistan have done so voluntarily. Importantly, none of the 1.46 million Afghans who applied for proof of registration cards have been returned, nor have 800,000 or so individuals who hold Afghan citizen cards,” he said.

93% of Undocumented Foreigners Voluntarily Leave Pakistan

The premier said that approximately 79 transit centers have been established that offer complimentary meals, shelter, and medical facilities. Additionally, extra crossing points have been inaugurated along the Pakistan-Afghan Border to streamline the procedures.

Furthermore, security personnel diligently guide immigrants to border crossings, especially prioritizing the well-being of women and children. Emergency helplines have been instituted to promptly report any instances of abuse, he affirmed.

Prime Minister Kakar reflected on the unexpected withdrawal of Western allies from Afghanistan in August 2021, which triggered a substantial influx of refugees into Pakistan. Hundreds of thousands of Afghan nationals traversed the border, citing imminent threats to their lives.

He reiterated the nation’s earnest commitment to the welfare of these refugees, recognizing that certain individuals require special protection. Prime Minister Kakar assured that at-risk groups, including musicians, journalists, and human rights activists, would not face deportation. However, he emphasized the imperative need for assistance from other countries.

He disclosed that only 59,033 of the recent arrivals have been successfully resettled outside Pakistan, while 42,068 await evacuation to the West.

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