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‘Leave by November 1 or face forcible expulsion’, interim govt warns illegal immigrants

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  • Safety of Pakistanis top priority of the government: security czar.
  • Says task force set to launch a crackdown on illegal immigrants.
  • “Illegal ‘aliens’ properties and businesses will be confiscated.”

In a bid to tighten the noose around illegal “foreigners”, the caretaker government has set November 1 as a deadline for the immigrants residing in the country unlawfully, warning that action will be taken against them after the time limit.

Addressing a press conference following an apex committee meeting on the National Action Plan (NAP) on Tuesday, Interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti said that the huddle set November 1 as the deadline for the illegal “aliens” to leave the county voluntarily.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar chaired the high-level huddle, attended by top civil and military leadership in Islamabad.

The decision came days after a deadly suicide blast in Balochistan’s Mastung, in which over 60 people lost their lives. In most of the recent terror incidents in Pakistan, Afghan nationals or soil was reportedly used.

According to a statistical report released by the independent think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), at least 271 militant attacks took place during the first half of 2023, resulting in the loss of 389 lives and injuring 656 individuals. Terror activities in the country soared by 79% during the period.

Speaking on the occasion, the caretaker interior minister revealed that Afghan nationals were responsible for 14 of the 24 suicide bombings in the country this year.

He warned the illegal immigrants to quit Pakistan by November 1 or face forcible expulsion.

‘Businesses being run by illegal migrants to be confiscated’

Bugti further said all the state law enforcement agencies will be mobilised to take action against the illegal foreign nationals and they will be deported after the 1st of November.

He also announced that all illegal properties and businesses being run by these illegal nationals will also be seized after the expiry of the deadline.

Action will be taken as per the law of the land against any of the Pakistani citizens if he is also involved in illegal businesses and making huge properties by these illegal foreign nationals, he added.

‘Security of Pakistanis foremost priority’

The caretaker minister said a task force has also been constituted at the Interior Ministry to launch and monitor these actions. “Safety and security of the people of Pakistan is the prime responsibility and foremost priority of the government.”

The taskforce will comprise officials of law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies, Bugti said, adding that it would launch a crackdown against the people having illegal Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) and confiscate properties of the aliens.

“The National Database & Registration Authority (Nadra) has been directed to ensure cancellation of fake CNICs immediately.”

The interior minister also warned of strict action against those involved in amendments to Nadra’s family tree in order to confirm their nationality,

The government would utilise DNA testing to confirm the nationality of those having suspected CNICs, he added.

In addition to this, a universal helpline number and a web portal would be launched to gather information about the illegal immigrants/CNICs, smuggling and hoarding, the minister said, adding that people can share the information as anonymous informants.

‘Over 1m illegal immigrants to be expelled’

A day earlier, the caretaker government had announced that almost 1.1 million foreigners illegally residing in Pakistan would be expelled due to security concerns.

According to details, the government will evict illegal “aliens” in the first phase along with those who do not renew their visas.

In the second and third phases, those living in Pakistan with Afghan citizenship and possessing proof of residence cards will be deported respectively.

“Illegally resident foreigners pose a serious threat to the security of Pakistan,” said a source privy to the development adding that the plan for eviction of illegally residing Afghan citizens has also been approved as this lot is involved in funding, facilitating and smuggling terrorists whereas 700,000 Afghans have not renewed their proof of residence in Pakistan.

It had been informed that in the first phase, illegal residents will be deported

The Ministry of Interior had prepared a plan in consultation with the stakeholders and the Afghan government.

In the meantime, the ministry had also issued directives to the concerned to compile a record of Afghans living without permits and prepare a transportation plan to bring them to the Afghan border.

Apart from checking the records of all the Afghans residing in the country, officials concerned were directed to quickly deal with the applications filed regarding the registration of Afghans.

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No “major breakthrough” in the opposition-led JUI-F and PTI meeting

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Maulana Fazalur Rehman stated that mending rifts in relationships and getting rid of resentment in an interview with the media in Islamabad with a team from the Tehreek-e-Tahafuz-e-Ayeen-e-Pakistan that paid him a visit.

While no significant progress was made at the meeting, all sides decided to keep in touch in order to plan for the future.

“A positive message,” according to the JUI-F chief, was received with open arms by the delegation. Taking a “united” stance on national issues was the primary goal of the meeting, he said.

Democracy is losing its appeal, and Pakistan’s parliament and constitution are losing their respect. In parliament, Maulana Fazalur Rehman continued, “we should have a single voice.”

Remarking on the event, National Assembly Opposition Leader Omar Ayub thanked the JUI-F leader for ‘warmly’ receiving the group.

We had a fruitful discussion in the meeting, he declared, urging the opposition parties to work with the PTI to “protect” the constitution.

Constitutional violations and a lack of a rule of law are the claims made by Omar Ayub. According to him, there was “no reason” why the police searched the PTI’s Islamabad central secretariat office.

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In the instance of illegal recruitment, Pervaiz Elahi is granted bail.

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The earlier-reserved court ruling was delivered by LHC Judge Sultan Tanveer Ahmad on Tuesday.

LHC had filed a post-arrest bail motion, according to the former chief minister.

On October 25, 2023, Pervaiz was taken into custody by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE).

From June 1 to September 18, Elahi has been arrested in a number of crimes; the most recent one was reported by the Punjab ACE on September 18.

More: Pervaiz Elahi’s condition “deteriorated” in Adiala jail; he was hurried to PIMS.

In the Punjab Assembly, Elahi illegally hired 12 people for grade 17 positions, according to information provided by an ACE representative.

In the provincial assembly, the candidates were chosen through record-altering.

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The bail petition of Parvez Elahi in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by the ATC.

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A bail application filed by Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, a leader of the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) party, in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on the grounds of prematurity.

ATC Judge Arshad Javed announced the decision during today’s hearing.

The counsel representing Parvez Elahi contended that there was a significant likelihood of his client being arrested in relation to the Jinnah House attack case. It was stated that the ex-Chief Minister had previously been held in custody on judicial remand in other cases.

The petitioner requested the court to authorise the release of Parvez Elahi on bail in the Jinnah House attack case.

Nevertheless, the prosecution argued that the bail petition did not meet the necessary legal criteria, emphasising that Parvez Elahi had not been apprehended in connection with the case.

Considering these considerations, the court rejected Parvez Elahi’s request for release, stating that it was premature since he had not been arrested in the Jinnah House attack case.

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