ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has deported around 2,000 unregistered Afghans after the attack on Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014.
“Pakistani authorities have clearly conveyed to the Afghan government that around three million refugees are posing grave security risk and it is now working to send back non-registered Afghan refugees at the earliest to minimise these risks,” security officials told Daily Express on the condition of anonymity.
These sources said that after the approval of the National Action Plan (NAP) the provincial governments have been directed to arrest illegal Afghans and deport them immediately.
“It has been clearly conveyed to Afghan authorities that around all the three million refugees will be repatriated by December 2015, and meanwhile no action will be taken against the registered refugees,” the sources said, adding, “it has also been conveyed that action is only being taken against those Afghan refugees who have not got themselves registered properly.”
The sources said that intelligence agencies have proof which was handed over to the Afghan authorities that there are unregistered Afghans who are involved in terrorist activities and crimes, creating law and order problems in Pakistan which cannot be tolerated anymore.
The official sources said that the same was conveyed by the Army Chief Raheel Sharif in his last visit to Kabul. “It is most likely that PM Nawaz will visit Kabul sometimes this month and the issue of repatriation of Afghan refugees and immediate deportation of illegal Afghans remains on the agenda.”
The official sources said that the government has expedited measures including registration and containing them to their refugee camps and restrict their activities. “Police have expedited a campaign against unregistered Afghans in Peshawar and other parts of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa,” the source said adding, “Unregistered Afghans travelling or staying in the province are being deported to their country under the section 14 of the Foreigners Act after fulfilling legal requirements.”
According to UNCHR report, there are 1.78 million registered Afghan refugees while 0.68 million are unregistered out of total 2.46 million refugees. “Pakistan is hosting Afghan refugees since long and time and again has reminded the international community that these people are a burden on its fragile economy apart from the fact that they (unregistered Afghan refugees) are also involved in criminal and extremist activities in Pakistan,” says the report.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2015.