The Karachi administration has begun making accommodation arrangements for “Afghan nationals and foreigners” being evacuated from Afghanistan in the wake of the security situation following the Taliban takeover of the country.
The arrangements for evacuees will be made in the vicinity of the Jinnah International Airport, according to the commissioner’s office.
In a notification dated Aug 26, the office of the Karachi commissioner said at least 2,000 people were expected to arrive in Karachi in the next three to four days, adding that they would stay in the provincial capital “for the next few days”.
“The Deputy Commissioner Malir is requested to make adequate arrangements on emergency basis in the vicinity of the Jinnah International Airport, Karachi for the boarding, lodging, transport, and security of Afghan nationals and foreigners arriving at Karachi airport for transit purposes in coordination with Provincial Disaster Management Authority and law enforcing agencies,” the notification read.
This decision was taken at a meeting on Aug 26 at 5 Corps headquarters with “chief of staff” in the chair, according to the commissioner’s office.
Two hotels and marquees surrounding the Karachi airport were identified by the administration for hosting people coming from Afghanistan.
“The passengers availing the facility at identified hotels shall themselves bear all the expenses of their stay at the hotels,” the administration said.
The commissioner’s office also asked the Federal Investigation Agency, provincial health department and power utility K-Electric to make necessary arrangements in coordination with Malir deputy commissioner to facilitate the process.
A day ago, Islamabad’s administration took control of all hotels in the capital for several weeks to arrange accommodation for foreigners being evacuated from Afghanistan.
About 1,500 foreigners were scheduled to arrive from Afghanistan on Friday aboard separate flights while over 1,000 foreigners are expected to land in Islamabad on each day of the next couple of weeks, according to officials.
The capital’s administration asked the managements of all the hotels to close reservations for 21 days starting on Friday, leaving all the vacant rooms in them at the disposal of the administration.
A notification issued by the office of district magistrate said that in view of the current situation across the border, thousands of people were being evacuated from Afghanistan and passengers using transit flights for the purpose were staying in Islamabad.
On Aug 1, National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf had said that arrangements should be made to keep displaced Afghans inside their country instead of pushing them into Pakistan.
Yusuf had said Pakistan was focused on ensuring that tensions in Afghanistan do not lead to more bloodshed. “But if a situation arises, it is the responsibility of the international community to create a secure area inside Afghanistan.”
“Why make them dar-ba-dar (homeless)? Make arrangement for them inside their country. Pakistan does not have the capacity to take more refugees,” he had emphasised.