Put illegal Afghan nationals in camps: PAC

Asim Yasin
Thursday, Sep 22, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The chairman and members of the Public Accounts Committee blasted the illegal presence of Afghan citizens in Pakistan and said that Afghans who live in Pakistan and shout anti-Pakistan slogans have no right to stay here. The accounts committee also asked for the list of 380 Afghans to be deported from Dubai, who possess Pakistani passports. It said that illegal Afghan citizens should be kept in camps and if they cannot be kept in camps, they should be sent back to Afghanistan.

The Public Accounts Committee held its meeting under Chairman Noor Alam Khan in which the audit paras relating to the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions were examined. Chairman PAC Noor Alam Khan said that Afghan citizens were residing freely in cities like Karachi. In every city, Afghans are moving without documents, although there is a mechanism for Afghans in Iran and other countries. He said anti-Pakistan slogans were being raised in Pakistan by the Afghans who live there.

The chairman Public Accounts Committee said that terrorists caught here were mostly Afghans, they were involved in most robberies in Karachi and also in Peshawar and Islamabad.

He said that Afghans have taken away jobs of the people of Pakistan and while living in Pakistan, they shout anti-Pakistan slogans. Do they have the courage to go to America and raise anti-American slogans there, he asked.

Chairman PAC Noor Alam Khan said that we cannot turn Pakistan into a Lebanon and Iraq and why was the UN not asked to keep the Afghans in camps. “The UN should be told that there is no place for those who raise anti-Pakistan slogans,” the chairman said, adding those who are not registered should be sent back to their country.

The secretary Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) said that this was a very serious issue and reservations of the members are correct, the directions given by the committee will be implemented.

The PAC asked for the list of 380 Afghans to be deported from Dubai and said that illegal Afghan citizens should be kept in camps and if they could not be kept in camps, they should be sent back to Afghanistan.

Noor Alam Khan said that camps for refugees should be built in the same way as were in foreign countries. They are not eligible for employment in Pakistan because they do not pay taxes and are also involved in smuggling, he said.

Chairman NADRA Tariq Malik said data is being collected through the biometric system for Afghans coming through the borders and cards of Afghans who have obtained identity cards are being cancelled.

Noor Alam Khan asked chairman NADRA if he knew most Afghans have been given identity cards. Chairman NADRA told the chairman if he had data of identity cards of Afghan citizens, he should share it with NADRA.

The PAC directed the Ministry of SAFRON to talk to the UNHCR within a month and provide all the details of steps taken regarding the Afghan refugees to the PAC. It also recommended to the Ministry of Interior to cancel their fake identity cards and passports. “We also recommend the government to send them back,” the committee stated.

PAC Chairman Noor Alam Khan said that all persons with dual citizenship are respected by them but the question arises whether they should take sensitive decisions of the country. Chairman NADRA Tariq Malik said that there was no restriction in the law that a person with dual citizenship could not work.

Senator Salim Mandviwalla said dual nationals are not only in the bureaucracy but also in the judiciary. Mushahid Hussain Sayed said two prime ministers of the country had also dual citizenship.

On the inquiry of PAC, secretary Law and Justice said that under Article 63 of the Constitution, a person with dual citizenship cannot become a Member of Parliament while there is no restriction in the Civil Services Act. The officials of Law Ministry told the committee that those working in autonomous institutions are not called civil servants. “There is also a private member’s bill in this regard. If the ban on dual citizenship is to be brought to the extent of civil servants, it will have to be legislated,” the officials told the committee.

Noor Alam Khan directed the law secretary to prepare and submit a draft bill on the issue of officers with dual citizenship working on important and sensitive government positions. The PAC will get this bill approved by the parliament. He said that if Pakistanis with dual citizenship wanted to serve the country, they can do it as consultants. “We welcome them.”

Chairman NADRA Tariq Malik presented the details of employees with dual citizenship working in the authority and said that 500 people with dual citizenship were working. “Such people had sensitive information and gave up their Pakistani citizenship,” he told the committee.

In response to a question of committee members, chairman NADRA said that an inquiry was conducted against 2,640 NADRA employees, 43 were dismissed from service and investigation of the remaining cases was under review.

The PAC directed the chairman NADRA to submit the details of employees sacked due to corruption during the last five years. In the meanwhile, the PAC sought details of the Capital Development Authority’s quotations worth billions of rupees.