Illegal immigrants: 208 Pakistanis deported every day since 2009

Published: January 8, 2014
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Thousands of immigrants to Greece, mainly from Pakistan gather at Athens central Syntagma square on August 24, 2012, during their protest rally against the recent violent attacks on immigrants by ultra nationalist groups and the police operations in order to arrest undocumented immigrants. PHOTO: AFP

Thousands of immigrants to Greece, mainly from Pakistan gather at Athens central Syntagma square on August 24, 2012, during their protest rally against the recent violent attacks on immigrants by ultra nationalist groups and the police operations in order to arrest undocumented immigrants. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: 

Labourer Ghulam Farid’s dreams of greener pastures seemed to momentarily come true when he landed in the United Arab Emirates to earn a better living. But the rude awakening came when he was expelled from the country for illegal entry.

“I did not have a single penny to feed my four kids after being deported from the UAE,” the 34-year-old told The Express Tribune. “My agent cheated me and now I have nowhere to go.”

Farid is just one of over 380,000 Pakistanis who have been deported from 54 countries since 2009. According to the official figures obtained by The Express Tribune, the average deportation of Pakistanis during the five-year period amounts to 208 per day.

“No one helped us. We packed up and were sent home in a special plane arranged by the UAE government, which dropped us at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport,” Farid said, recalling the days when the Gulf states started a crackdown against illegal immigrants last year.

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“Before leaving Pakistan, I had handed over all my savings to an agent, Farid of Ward Sheikha Wala, Layyah, for documentation. But it was all a fraud — we were ultimately sent back to Pakistan as our documents were found to be forged,” he said.

While these figures are startling, Pakistan itself has handed over an estimated 25,712 illegal immigrants to some two dozen countries during the last five years.

Over 259,000 (67% of the total figure) Pakistanis were deported from four brotherly countries, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran and Oman.  Saudi Arabia deported more than 122,000 Pakistanis during the last five years. Around 60,000 in 2013; 17,000 in 2012; 15,667 in 2011; 15,231 in 2010; and 14,878 Pakistanis were deported in 2009.

Over 63,000 Pakistanis were deported from the UAE between 2009 and 2013.

The Iranian immigration staff has sent back around 43,000 Pakistanis in the last five years. Tehran handed over some 9,000 illegal immigrants to Pakistan’s border authorities at the Taftan border in Balochistan in 2013.

Similarly, the United States sent some 600 Pakistanis home in the last five years, with 90 deported in 2013. The United Kingdom has deported some 9,000 Pakistanis since 2008 on the grounds that they were living there without proper documentation. Around 2,100 Pakistanis were expelled in 2013.

Over 31,000 Pakistanis were deported from Oman in the last five years, with 6,123 in 2013 alone. Over these five years, as many as 14,280 Pakistanis were deported from Greece, with 2,564 illegal immigrants sent home just last year.

More than 6,500 Pakistanis were deported from Turkey in the last five years, with 1,345 illegal immigrants sent back in 2013. Almost 6,500 Pakistanis were deported from Serbia.

South Africa sent home around 2,000 Pakistanis in the last five years while some 27 Pakistanis were deported from Afghanistan. While 12 were deported from China, Canada saw 79 deportations with France expelling 575 Pakistanis in the last five years.

A senior official associated with an Anti-Human Trafficking Circle under the Federal Investigation Agency told The Express Tribune that there are two reasons behind this mass deportation. In the first instance, deportees deliberately misplaced their documents to prolong their illegal stay. Some migrants managed to gain entry of other countries on the basis of forged documents usually prepared by their agents or human traffickers, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • shahid
    Jan 8, 2014 - 11:03AM

    From Brotherly countries; What nonsense is this, what brotherly countries; Have you seen how these brothers treat their brothers, No No, not Pakistani brothers; These brothers kick butts of Pakistani brothers and shower great amount of verbal abuse, not shower flowers, steal their salaries and rights and we still call them brothers, we shameless degraded low life Pakistanis; Unless we get rid of corrupt leaders and clean from within, we will always be treated as filth and trash; Pakistan people who are immune to such disrespect and third rate treatment by brothers,

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  • usman786
    Jan 8, 2014 - 12:36PM

    Recover hard earned money of these poor people instead of mush trial. Overseas Pak ministry should give preference to these workers for jobs abroad. Why Fia failed to check them at airport

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  • Jan 8, 2014 - 12:48PM

    Maybe Pakistanis should learn Arabic, probably the “brotherly” countries will take them back.Recommend

  • Happens
    Jan 8, 2014 - 1:31PM

    These are infiltrators , so they should be deported.

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  • Tight Patloon
    Jan 8, 2014 - 3:20PM

    Whole world is against madina e saani Pakistan, even the so called Muslim countries

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  • K Bhatti
    Jan 8, 2014 - 4:41PM

    ‘Some 27 Pakistanis were deported from Afghanistan’ Look more than all other added together!

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  • Rashid Ahmedkutty (Kerala, India)
    Jan 8, 2014 - 4:50PM

    It is very unfortunate to see the current situation of the people of Pakistan, a country which was created for the minorities of the subcontinent (as it is said), is ready to live in any other country as a minority by hook or by crook. Mr. Jinnah would have had an heart attack if he had witnessed the current situation of Pakistan.

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  • Sulfuric
    Jan 8, 2014 - 6:29PM

    I didn’t get it whats the point in this article. Do you want these countries to grant working permission to these illegal people? They should be deported thats the least thing they can do. What brotherhood we expect from others when we are enemies of ourselves.

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  • Ishrat salim
    Jan 8, 2014 - 11:45PM

    Why would anyone like to leave his country, his family, if he had even an iota of space left in his own country where he could earn a respectable livelihood for himself and his family….does such an opportunity exists here ? started from 2009 ( with the advent of democracy ) and still continues, adding to more misery in poor people,s lives than what existed in 2008 ( start of democratic era ). Democracy has made poor poorer and rich richer…is this what democracy stands for in our country ? No wonder my Indian friends used to say ” Pakistan se zinda bagh”, when we used to say “Pakistan zindabad”.

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  • khan
    Jan 9, 2014 - 9:28AM

    Work hard and develop our own economy instead of moving illegally abroad.

    Arabs from the Gulf states don’t care about “brotherly countries”, instead they want to gain power and maximise their influence. Due to their wealth, they can easily afford not to work and to hire low skilled people from Asia and Africa as well as experts from Europe and the US.

    Instead of complaining about poverty, injustice and the US, People could get up in the morning and work until night which includes not only sitting and chatting but achieving results – day by day.

    What have YOU achieved today?
    Happy new year!

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  • Jan 19, 2014 - 3:42AM

    I’m very sad to see the current situation of the people of Pakistan, a country which was created for the minorities of the subcontinent, is ready to live in any other country as a minority by hook or by crook. Mr. Jinnah don’t want it.

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  • Tafiq Salim
    Feb 4, 2014 - 2:13AM

    not good – what will we get when our citizens spoil our name like this. this is drop in ocean – i think millions are there abroad illegally. with no space left we are forced to try abroad. but who will take us ? no one gives pakistani passport a visa! even afghanistan and bangladesh gets more visas than us! Indian passport is accepted almost everywhere!

    i think strong reform is needed .

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