PESHAWAR: With hundreds of undocumented Afghan migrants leaving Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for their country on Saturday, the provincial authorities have identified the “illegal aliens”, who are staying put despite the expiry of the Oct 31 deadline for voluntary repatriation.

Officials told Dawn here that the government had conducted another survey to find the foreign nationals continuing to live in the province without documentation.

They said that 19 out of 36 districts in KP had no undocumented foreigners any more but 18,665 “illegal aliens” continued to live in the rest of the districts, mostly in Peshawar.

The officials said that as there were clear directions from the government not to bother undocumented migrants even after the expiry of the deadline, authorities were convincing such foreigners to leave the country voluntarily and were even providing them with transport to facilitate their repatriation.

They said officials of Peshawar’s district administration along with the police visited “mapped areas” and encouraged undocumented Afghans living there to return.

The officials said transport was offered to some of those migrants.

They said both undocumented migrants as well as those carrying Proof of Registration (PoR) cards also left for Afghanistan voluntarily.

The officials said those sent to Peshawar’s transit point on Saturday for repatriation included four undocumented foreigners and 13 families with PoR cards from the areas under the jurisdiction of the Bhana Mari police station, three from Yakatoot area, 17 from Kabuli police station area and over 208 from the areas overseen by the Mattani police station.

They said 567 illegal migrants, including 554 from Peshawar and 13 from Khyber tribal district, along with 59 from Punjab were repatriated via the Torkham border crossing in Khyber tribal district.

Officials involved in the repatriation process told Dawn that 222,163 illegal migrants had left for Afghanistan between Sept 17 and Nov 17.

They said 218,481 members of 19,082 Afghan families comprising 61,474 men, 48,286 women and 108,721 children had returned to their country via the Torkham border. The officials said 3,263 people left for Afghanistan via Angoor Adda border crossing in South Waziristan tribal district and 419 via Kharlachi border point in Kurram tribal district.

Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2023

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