Pakistan: Police detain 800 Afghan refugees in Islamabad suburbs

02 October,2023 01:28 PM IST |  Islamabad  |  ANI

The police detained 800 Afghan refugees in the suburbs of Islamabad, out of which 375 face deportation due to a lack of proper documentation

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The police detained 800 Afghan refugees in the suburbs of Islamabad, out of which 375 face deportation due to a lack of proper documentation, ARY News reported on Sunday.

"Islamabad police launched a search operation in Bara Kahu, Trinol, Mahar Abadian, Golra and Shams Colony and arrested 800 Afghan nationals," police said.

"Four hundred Afghan nationals were later released on producing the proof of residence," officials said. "375 other Afghan nationals had no identity papers, while 25 remaining Afghans have been detained till verification of their identity documents," police further said.

"Lists of Afghans were compiled on the basis of secret information before the operation," police said.

"Several criminal Afghan residents have also been pointed out and the operation will further step up in coming days," officials said.

Police said that the authorities have decided to deport 375 arrested Afghan nationals from Pakistan.

According to a report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the population of Afghan nationals residing in Pakistan has surged to 3.7 million as of June this year, with a mere 1.3 million of them officially registered with the authorities.

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Approximately 775,000 unregistered Afghans are currently residing in the country, ARY News reported.

As per the Pakistan media outlet a major 68.8 percent of afghan citizens in Pakistan have settled in urban or semi-urban areas, while the remaining 31.2 percent are disturbed across 54 different regions including villages.

Earlier, Iran deported 43,000 Afghan illegal immigrants back to their country in the past month, the Taliban-led Refugees and Repatriation Department said, TOLONews reported.

Meanwhile, some citizens who recently returned to the country asked the Taliban to provide them with work. Nizamuddin, 42, who returned to the country three days ago from Iran, spoke of the challenges he faces.

After the Taliban's return to power, new waves of Afghan refugees shifted to Iran and Pakistan due to various reasons, including fearing death threats and persecution by the Taliban.

In July, over 4,700 Afghan migrants were deported within 24 hours through the Milak border crossing in Sistan and Baluchestan province, Afghanistan-based Khaama Press reported.

Officials mentioned "illegal entry, stay, and passport expiration" as the main reasons for deporting the migrants.

Parviz Ghasemzada, Iranâ¿¿s border commander for the area, said people from other countries must enter, remain and leave Iran legally, Khaama Press reported citing Tasnim News Agency.

He asserted that anyone trying to enter Iran illegally would be taken to authorities and deported from the country. Ghasemzada further said, "Combating the illegal residence of unauthorized foreigners in Sistan and Baluchistan is seriously on the agenda."

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