Pakistan to deport illegal immigrants from Nov 2

Islamabad: Pakistan will begin a crackdown on the “undocumented” immigrants, including thousands from neighboring Afghanistan from November 2, the caretaker government said, prompting the rights groups to warn of a “humanitarian crisis”. While announcing the plans to deport undocumented immigrants from the country, Islamabad said Afghan nationals had been behind 14 suicide attacks, smuggling and crimes in its territory.

Kabul has, however, dismissed the allegations as rights groups asked Pakistan to reconsider its decision. In a video statement, caretaker interior minister Sarfraz Bugti said, “Only two days are left for a voluntary return,” but they will be assisted at the temporary camps set up by the government. “We will try to provide them with food and health facilities for two to three days,” he said.

The minister has clarified that no refugee but only illegal immigrants will be deported from Pakistan. “We are not deporting any refugees. Only those who are completely illegal will leave Pakistan,” he said. The operation would be “lengthy and gradual,” he added without going into further details on the time frame.

The interior ministry has informed that Pakistan is home to more than 4 million Afghan migrants and refugees, about 1.7 million of them undocumented. The country’s decision to deport the illegal immigrants has drawn flak from various local and international groups, including the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan. Western embassies and the United Nations have urged Pakistan to identify and protect Afghans at risk of persecution at home.

“Amnesty International strongly reiterates its call to the Government of Pakistan to immediately reverse its decision to forcibly deport unregistered Afghan refugees ahead of the deadline set for tomorrow,” the group said in a statement.

Pakistan to release 80 Indian fishermen on Nov 9

Pakistan has decided to release and repatriate 80 Indian fishermen so that they can reach their homes in time for Diwali, Jatin Desai, former general secretary of the India-Pakistan People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, said.

“The good news is Pakistan will release & repatriate 80 Indian fishermen on 10 November. Both the country should release & repatriate all the fishermen from their custody,” Desai, the Mumbai-based peace activist, posted on X, formerly Twitter.

“Our counterparts in Pakistan have learnt through reliable sources that the Pakistan government has decided to release 80 Indian fishermen from Landi jail in Karachi on November 9 and formally repatriate them to India via Wagah border on November 10,” Desai, the journalist-activist, said. “If the Indian authorities make proper travel arrangements for them, these fishermen can reach their homes in Gujarat in time for Diwali celebrations on November 12.”

The development comes 10 days after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan after four years in exile.

Image courtesy of X@Azadi_English

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