Acting Minister of Refugees of Afghanistan, Khalilur Rahman Haqqani, holds a child as he visits refugees who returned from neighboring Pakistan at the border in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, 06 November 2023 (issued 07 November 2023). EFE/EPA/STRINGER

Pakistan expels 252,000 undocumented, blames Afghanistan for spike in violence

Islamabad, Nov 8 (EFE).- Pakistan’s interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar said on Wednesday that some 252,000 undocumented foreigners had left Pakistan amid a campaign of arrests and forced expulsions, and blamed Afghanistan for the upsurge in violence in the country.

Afghans, of whom some 1.7 million were residing in Pakistan without proper documents, were the most affected by Islamabad’s ultimatum to voluntarily leave the country in less than a month, a deadline that expired a week ago.

“The total number of the people who returned is nearly around 252,000,” Kakar said at a press conference in which he blamed the migrants residing in Pakistan – mostly Afghans – of destabilizing the country.

The prime minister’s statements come a week after the arrests and subsequent deportation of thousands of undocumented migrants began, especially those who decided to remain in Pakistan after the expiry of the deadline given to them by the authorities.

Moreover, Kakar linked the increase in armed violence in the country to the coming to power in August 2021 of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Since then, there has been a 60 percent increase in terrorism-related incidents, according to the Pakistani prime minister, killing 2,267 people.

“Despite repeated assurances by the interim Afghan government, no action was taken against anti-Pakistan terrorists,” said Kakar, adding several of these attacks were facilitated by the Taliban themselves.

He also accused 15 Afghans of committing suicide bombings in Pakistan and reported that 64 Afghanistan citizens have been killed in Pakistani security forces’ operations against insurgent groups.

Among these groups was the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the ideological offshoot of the Afghan fundamentalists, stood out.

At least two police officers were killed and three others injured Tuesday when an unidentified insurgent group opened fire on a police checkpoint in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Moreover, at least four members of the security forces and three alleged insurgents were killed Monday during an anti-insurgency operation by the Pakistani army in the north of the country. EFE