Managing the migrant stream

What to do with illegal immigrants has become an issue within an issue

Editorial February 09, 2016
A migrant carries his two children as he gets off an inflatable boat after arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey on August 14, 2015 PHOTO: AFP

Events that started on December 10, 2010 in Tunisia have a direct causal linkage to the refugee crisis that is consuming the Middle East, Turkey, the Balkan states, Greece, all the countries of the Maghrib and the UK. Millions are on the move and the small kingdom of Jordan is close to being overwhelmed. Turkey has taken in two million and the European Union (EU) finds that its open-border policy enshrined in the Schengen Agreement is close to collapse such is the scale of the human crisis. People from Pakistan are in the mix of this vast stream, and not all of them are refugees, with many being economic migrants seeking their fortune and a better life in the EU.

What to do with illegal immigrants has become an issue within an issue. The EU needs to manage the flow as best as it can and has been deporting illegal immigrants to a range of countries and not only Pakistan. Pakistan has in the past protested that some of those it was asked to receive as deportees had not been verified as Pakistani citizens in the first place; and some that had been inappropriately described as having connections to terrorism had themselves been illegally deported by the EU itself. Now, the EU and Pakistan have agreed a set of protocols that satisfy the demands of Pakistan in terms of deportations, a development that has received an endorsement from Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar. This is not the first time that ‘agreement’ over this matter is said to have been reached, and it is to be hoped that the latest agreement is both durable and workable to the satisfaction of all sides because this is a problem that has the potential to get worse rather than better. The EU has now agreed to the verification process proposed by the Interior Ministry in line with the Readmission Accord. It now remains to be seen whether all sides are able to effectively implement what are complex procedures in a timely manner, and a diplomatic ‘incident’ with deportees shuttling to-and-fro, avoided.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th,  2016.

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Bunny Rabbit | 5 years ago | Reply SIR , I like to wipe every tear / feed every hungry mouth, but there is a question of logistics . Europe is filled to the brim. It cant take any more . Time for these refugees to go to their own Brethren like KSA or Brunei .
Toti calling | 5 years ago | Reply It is true that Turkey and Jordan have taken many refugees, but we know that they will remain refugees and will be deported when things improve in Syria and Iraq. But they are Muslims and culturally close to these countries. That is not the case with Europe. These people if accepted will take local citizenship and will not leave and go back.It is not easy to accommodate people who are so different and not likely to change to 21st century values. And how come other Arab countries do not offer them entry?
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