• Minister says illegal Afghans will be deported via Chaman border
• PTM leader detained for 30 days under MPO
KARACHI: While a crackdown on illegal immigrants across the country is underway, police and allied agencies have so far picked up over 1,700 Afghan nationals for living in Karachi without any valid documents, it emerged on Monday.
The information about the number of held persons was shared by caretaker Home Minister retired Brigadier Haris Nawaz, who also declared that all illegal immigrants living in Sindh would soon be deported.
Also on Monday, the Sindh government detained the provincial president of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), Noorullah Tareen, under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance for 30 days for “instigating public to disturb peace”. However, his party said Mr Tareen was raising voice against the arrests of Afghan refugees having valid documents.
Talking to the media at the office of DIG-West, the interim home minister said that the government was preparing a mechanism under which registered aliens would not be touched.
He said that different committees comprising SSPs, deputy commissioners concerned as well as representatives of all institutions were being formed to take a concerted action against illegal immigrants.
To a question, he said that the number of illegal Afghan immigrants held in Karachi stood at 1,700.
The minister said that illegal Afghan immigrants would be sent back to their home country in buses through the Chaman border crossing.
He promised that no action would be taken against any registered Afghan national.
About law and order situation in the metropolis, Mr Nawaz said that the government had adopted an extraordinary policing policy with a special focus on curbing street crimes.
‘Artificial water shortage’
He apprehended that an ‘artificial’ shortage of water was being deliberately created in the metropolis due to a crackdown on illegal hydrants and water thieves.
He said Karachiites would get smooth supply of water after dismantling of all illegal water hydrants in the city.
“We will not allow any corrupt mafia to become active again. Whatever ‘system’ existed earlier will not be allowed [to function] now,” he said, referring to a jargon used for a mechanism or interconnecting network of corruption in the province.
The minister said that the administration would not allow land grabbers to occupy anyone’s land in the province. “Action will be taken against all land grabbers irrespective of their influence. Our motive is to restore the writ of the government at any cost,” he said.
To a question, the home minister said that he believed that the Pakistan cricket team should not have sent to India. He said that now the security of the team was the responsibility of Indian authorities.
PTM to challenge leader’s detention
PTM leader Muhammad Ullah said his party was considering filing a petition before the Sindh High Court on Tuesday (today) against the order to detain Mr Tareen for 30 days at Karachi central prison.
He clarified that the PTM was not against the law enforcers’ action against ‘illegal’ Afghans.
He said that the party had no plans to hold rallies or protest. Mr Tareen only met with police officers and tried to persuade them not to detain registered Afghans, he added.
He alleged that the police were arresting Afghan refugees having legal documents and later released them after getting bribes.
Published in Dawn, October 10th, 2023