KARACHI: The caretaker provincial government on Thursday warned that action would be taken against anyone found to have provided shelter to illegal immigrants, who would be taken into custody for deportation after Oct 31, the deadline set by the authorities for them to voluntarily return to their respective countries.

Addressing a press conference, Home Minister retired Brig Haris Nawaz said that the federal government had decided to repatriate all foreigners illegally staying in Pakistan to their country of origin. He said that all the provincial governments were taking action against illegal immigrants.

He said that the illegal immigrants who were voluntarily returning to their countries were being given return facilities.

The home minister asked all such foreigners to ensure their voluntary return home by Oct 31, after which they would be arrested and deported. The process would start on Nov 1, he said.

Brig Nawaz said that arrangements had been made to facilitate voluntary return of illegal immigrants to their homeland in a good manner and in this process women, children, elderly people and others would be properly looked after.

However, after the Oct 31 deadline, no illegal immigrant would be allowed to stay on in the country and their deportation would be ensured, he categorically stated.

He said that over 200,000 illegal immigrants had been identified so far.

He made it clear that action would be taken against those who would provide shelter to illegal immigrants.

“Full support is being obtained from Nadra and other related institutions to identify illegal immigrants; they will be dealt with effectively and deported to their country of origin,” he added.

The caretaker provincial home minister said that the federal government had also decided to take strict action against makers of fake identity cards and other documents for foreigners.

Brig Nawaz said that the help of dignitaries would also be taken to deport illegal immigrants. They would be sent to their home countries in a respectful manner, he added.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2023

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