ISLAMABAD: Over 250,000 illegal Pakistani immigrants have been deported back to the country between January 2009 and October 2014, according to the Foreign Office (FO).

Among these, the highest number of deportees came from Saudi Arabia, the second highest from Iran, while 36,371 were deported from the UAE.

An FO official said that most of the individuals deported from Saudi Arabia and UAE were job-seekers or businessmen, “whereas the majority of deportees from Iran are people who were using that country as a transit station, just like Greece.”

Deportations from Gulf nations, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, were attributed mainly to security-related issues in these countries.

FO data also indicates that a number of Pakistanis have been deported back from several non-traditional destinations, including Ukraine, Lithuania and Georgia.

In all, 253,894 illegal immigrants had been sent back to the country, according to data from December 2014.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2015

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