Interim govt sets Nov 1 deadline for illegal immigrants to leave

News Desk
Wednesday, Oct 04, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The interim government on Tuesday warned the foreigners residing illegally in Pakistan to voluntarily leave the country by 1st November or face “forcible expulsion”, as a task force has been set up to scrutinise identity cards and do away with illegal business activities.

The decision was taken in a meeting of the Apex Committee of the National Action Plan, which resolved to expel illegal foreign residents and take strict action against their businesses and properties.

The committee, which met here with Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar in the chair, also decided to widen the scope of ongoing action against illegal activities like drug smuggling, hoarding, smuggling of currency and eatables, illegal money transfer and power theft, a press release from the PM Office said. Chief of Army Staff Gen Asim Munir, relevant federal ministers, provincial chief ministers and heads of civil and military law enforcement agencies also attended the meeting.

The Apex Committee decided that movement at the border would be subject to passport and visa in a view to document the processes. The task force that would work under the interior ministry would help scrutinise fake identity cards, businesses and properties in order to get rid of the same.

The meeting reviewed the country’s internal security situation with a view to overcome the challenges durably. The participants resolved that despite all odds, the government would ensure implementation of the Constitution and the law as per public aspirations.

The forum reiterated that the use of force was only the state’s mandate and no individual or group would be allowed to use the same. Besides, there was no room for armed political organisations or groups and the people involved in such activities would be dealt away with strictly.

It was also highlighted that Islam is a religion of peace and the state would never allow anyone to interpret the religion just to serve own political interests.

The rights and religious freedom of the minorities were the component of Islam and the Constitution and the state would ensure their provision. The Apex Committee stressed that those spreading propaganda and disinformation should be dealt with strictly under cyber laws.

The participants were informed that technical procedures were being devised for the awareness and implementation of the laws, which were being promulgated keeping in view the observance of the law and the convenience of the people.

The forum reiterated its resolve that the principles of faith, unity and discipline would be followed in true spirit and tireless efforts would be continued for the development of the country.

At a press briefing following the apex committee’s meeting, Interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti said the huddle had set November 1 as a deadline for the illegal “aliens” to leave the county voluntarily, Geo News reported.

The decision came days after a deadly suicide blast in Balochistan’s Mastung, in which over 60 people lost their lives. In most of the recent terror incidents in Pakistan, Afghan nationals or soil was reportedly used.

Bugti revealed that Afghan nationals were responsible for 14 of the 24 suicide bombings in the country in the current year. He warned illegal immigrants to leave Pakistan by November 1 or face forcible expulsion.

The minister further said all the state law enforcement agencies would be mobilised to take action against illegal foreign nationals and they would be deported after the 1st of November.He also announced that all illegal properties and businesses being run by illegal foreign nationals would be seized after the expiry of the deadline. Action would be taken as per the law of the land against any of the Pakistani citizens if he was also involved in illegal businesses and making huge properties by those illegal foreign nationals, he added.

The caretaker minister said a task force had also been constituted at the interior ministry to launch and monitor those actions. “Safety and security of the people of Pakistan is the prime responsibility and foremost priority of the government.”

The taskforce would comprise officials of law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies, Bugti said, adding it would launch a crackdown against the people having illegal Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) and confiscate properties of the aliens.

“The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) has been directed to ensure cancellation of fake CNICs immediately.”

The minister also warned of strict action against those involved in amendments to Nadra’s family tree in order to confirm their nationality,The government would utilise DNA testing to confirm the nationality of those having suspected CNICs, he added.

Besides, a universal helpline number and a web portal would be launched to gather information about illegal immigrants/CNICs, smuggling and hoarding, the minister said, adding people could share the information as anonymous informants.