Crackdown on migrants: Pakistan opens new border crossings to deport Afghans

Nearly 3 lakh Afghans left Pakistan since the deportation drive

Pakistan deportation drive An Afghan refugee arrives on a truck to cross the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Chaman | AFP

In order to hasten mass deportation drive of Afghans living illegally, Pakistan has opened three new border crossings in southwestern Balochistan province. With the new openings, there are a total of five exist points for the illegal migrants to leave the country.

As many as 3,00,000 Afghans left Pakistans since the authorities started the deportation drive for those without legal papers this month. The authorities had set the deadline for October 31.

Though the deportation applies to all foreigners without proper papers, it has mostly hit the Afghans as they make up the majority of foreigners in Pakistan.

Pakistan's move was criticised by Taliban-led government in Afghanistan as well as human rights organisations.

Amid the mass deportation drive, Taliban authorities have established a commission to provide essential services to the returnees. The services include accommodation, health services and transportation. Taliban had also appealed to Afghanistan's private sector to help people fleeing from Pakistan.

According to Jan Achakzai, the caretaker provincial information minister Balochistan police has arrested over 1,500 Afghans without valid papers in the recent days.

Around 15,000 Afghans have been crossing the border from Pakistan everyday. Authorities said that before crackdown, around 300 people were crossing the borders.

Reportedly, even those with valid papers are being deported forcefully by tearing away their documents. It was also alleged midnight raids were conducted by police in several areas and several Afghan families including women and children were detained.

Since Taliban took over Afghanistan, violence against Pakistani security forces and civilians has surged. Most attacks were claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, a separate militant group but a close ally of the Afghan Taliban.

Since 1980s, Pakistan has been hosting millions of Afghans.

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