QUETTA - In response to Pakistan's recent ultimatum for all illegal immigrants to leave the country, the Afghan province of Kandahar has established a commission to facilitate the return of Afghan nationals.
The decision comes as Pakistan announced to deport all illegal immigrants by November 1st; the country houses over 1.73 million Afghans though not all of them are residing in the country illegally.
Though the Taliban government in Kabul initially criticized Islamabad's expulsion threat, Kandahar's governor spokesperson, Molvi Muhammad Azam, revealed plans for camps at key border crossings.
In this regard, spokesperson for the Kandahar governor, Molvi Muhammad Azam confirmed that officials had visited the Spin Boldak and Torkham border crossings between the two countries to review arrangements for Afghans planning to return though the Kabul central government has not confirmed setting up the commission.
“We have been planning to establish camps for Afghan returnees at Spin Boldak and Torkham borders,” Azam was quoted as saying by Arab news.
As far as the arrangements on Pakistan's side are concerned, Quetta Deputy Commissioner Saad Bin Asad said the city's administration had deported 200 Afghan citizens through the Chaman border in the last week.
“After the given deadline [Nov.1] to Afghan citizens, we will take strict action against all illegal residents in Quetta," Asad said.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Balochistan's Caretaker Chief Minister Ali Mardan Khan Domki chaired a meeting to review actions against illegal immigrants and announced setting up a monitoring committee comprising Chaman's deputy commissioner and members of law enforcement agencies to oversee the repatriation of Afghans through the Chaman border.
The Balochistan government has also suggested Kabul to establish a sub-consulate in Chaman to facilitate the visa process for Pakistanis traveling to Afghanistan.
Pakistan's crackdown against illegal immigrants comes on the heels of rising terror attacks in the country which have wreaked havoc in recent months.
Pakistan has reiterated that the crackdown against illegal immigrants is not to target any specific nationality but a broad bassed initiative.
Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfaraz Bugti confirmed earlier that the government has decided to force out all foreign nationals, including Afghans, illegally residing in the country.
All those living unlawfully in the country will have to leave Pakistan till November 1, the minister said during a press conference held after caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar chaired a meeting of the apex committee also attended by the top military officials.
“There is no doubt that Pakistan is facing attacks from Afghanistan,” the interior minister said.
He said all the state law enforcement agencies will be mobilized to take an action against the illegal foreign nationals.
Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 22, 2024 (Thursday)
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.6 for buying and 282.4 for selling.
Euro comes down to 300.2 for buying and 303.2 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 350.6 for buying, and 354.1 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.2 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.45.
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