QUETTA- By January, next year the government of Pakistan plans to deport up to one million unauthorized immigrants, with an emphasis on undocumented Afghan refugees.
The move comes in the wake of recent hostilities with Kabul over claims that it is responsible for harboring militants hostile to Pakistan. Torkham and Chaman are two of eight approved crossing points that will make it easier for migrants to return to Afghanistan.
As of now, over 340,000 illegal migrants have voluntarily left Pakistan or been deported since the implementation of the policy against undocumented immigrants that was announced in October by caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti.
According to Jan Achakzai, caretaker information minister of Balochistan, Pakistan plans to deport 1 million illegal immigrants from Balochistan by the end of January. The minister explained that deportation is being done through Chaman border in collaboration with the governments of Sindh and Punjab to speed up this process.
Meanwhile, Pakistan is also facing international pressure to stop the exercise and in a latest statement, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has urged Pakistan to stop mass deportation during the harsh winter, Arab News reported.
It is important that there have been strong arguments on both sides of the aisle as some say that stopping terrorism is linked with deporting illegal immigrants while others say that those who have stayed in Pakistan for decades should not be deported in such a manner.
At the same time, Pakistan is already facing an economic crisis, and sectors like health care and education are already overburdened, justifying the case for deporting undocumented migrants.