Islamabad, Nov 5 (EFE).- Pakistan said Sunday the situation on the Afghan border had stabilized after chaos ensued due to thousands of Afghans scrambling to return home following a government deadline to leave or face arrest.
More than 180,000 Afghans have returned home, a Pakistani interior ministry source told EFE, requesting anonymity.
On Oct. 3, Pakistan gave less than a month for undocumented foreigners to leave the country and escape deportation that began on Nov. 1.
As the deadline neared its end, thousands of Afghans flocked near the border crossing points to escape a crackdown launched by law enforcement agencies.
The massive outflux of desperate Afghan refugees created a logistical challenge, straining border management.
“The situation on the border has improved over time, as the authorities have streamlined their management system, and now fewer Afghan refugees are arriving,” Khyber deputy commissioner Abdul Nasir told EFE.
The region is home to the Torkham Pass, the main border crossing point between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Afghan ambassador Sardar Ahmad Shakib told the media that the situation on the border was “better than in previous days.”
Shakib regretted the Pakistani government’s unilateral decision to expel irregular migrants, a measure that Islamabad says affects some 1.7 million Afghans.
“We demand from Pakistan that if the Afghans have to be evacuated from here, then sit down with us and find a solution,” said the Afghan envoy.
He said it was inappropriate to give a one-month deadline to leave to the refugees living in Pakistan for decades.
He urged the government to exempt Afghan refugees from scanning at the border so that they could avoid delay. EFE