The Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Pakistan on Tuesday submitted a resolution in the National Assembly demanding all Afghan immigrants living in Pakistan be deported to Afghanistan before the national population census commences on March 15.
MQM MNAs in their resolution said that there are some 2-2.5 million Afghan immigrants living in the country who have become a "burden on Pakistan's economy".
The resolution further claimed that the immigrants pose a risk to national security.
The MQM adopted the stance that Pakistan has "served" Afghan immigrants for over 30 years but its own people are neglected as they do not have access to adequate water and power supply, quality health care and education as well as employment opportunities.
"It is high time we prioritise our national interests," the resolution added.
The MQM-P's move comes as the Pakistani government has intensified Operation Raddul Fasaad ─ a military crackdown launched in response to the recent surge in terror attacks across the country ─ has raised concerns about racial profiling and discrimination against Pakhtuns.
Political leaders, including Jamaat-i-Islami emir Senator Sirajul Haq and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak, have slammed the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for 'racial profiling' and 'harassment' of Pakhtuns by administrative and law enforcement officials.
However, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif have rejected the claims, saying that political parties are cashing in on the issue to "score points and gain public sympathy."
Pakistan "gave refuge to thousands of Afghans, but we will not keep housing terrorists," Asif told the National Assembly earlier this week.
The Human Rights Watch in a damning report released last month on the 'forced return' of Afghan refugees, called on the Pakistani government to avoid recreating conditions in 2017 that had coerced the return of refugees to Afghanistan last year.