ISLAMABAD / QUETTA: A day after the federal government gave illegal immigrants the deadline to leave Pakistan by Nov 1, police in Islamabad and Quetta detained over 700 foreign nationals for allegedly living without legal documents.

In a statement, an Islamabad police spokesperson said 1,126 people were interrogated during the operation, and 503 were allegedly found to be living illegally.

They were booked under Section 14 of the Foreigners Act and are currently in prison on judicial remand. Around 623 people were released after presenting the requisite legal documents, the statement added.

The entire process was carried out without any “unpleasant event,” the capital police said, adding that linking criminal elements to illegal foreign nationals was “false equivalence”.

In Quetta, over 200 Afghans allegedly living illegally were arrested, Quetta Division Commi­ssioner Hamza Shafqaat said.

In a presser, he said the arrests were made from several areas of the provincial capital.

Mr Shafqaat added action against illegal buildings on Quetta’s drainage channels has begun, with 11 such structures already sealed. There are over 1,000 such illegal residential and commercial complexes which pose a natural disaster threat, he claimed.

He said 20,000 auto-rickshaws were operating in the provincial capital, with only 8,000 registered. The authorities will launch an operation against unregistered rickshaws. Additionally, 18 roads in Quetta have been converted into one-way roads with barriers for improved traffic management.

Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2023

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