Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti has clarified that no crackdown is being taken against Afghan refugees and an action is only underway against the illegal aliens in the country.
He said this while responding to a motion moved by Senator Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen and others.
Dispelling the impression that illegal aliens are being sent back abruptly, the Interior Minister said the government has evolved a proper mechanism to repatriate such people. He said committees were formed at district level, which also includes proper feedback from a representative from the Afghan Chargé d'affaires.
Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti said the government first gave a timeframe for voluntary return under which over 2,90,000 foreign nationals return to their homeland, while only around eight thousand illegal Afghan were sent back by the government. He said around three hundred thousand illegal citizens have so far gone to their country. He further said a dedicated special portal and a telephone line have been established to receive any complaints about the repatriation of illegal aliens. He said 569 complaints were received and 82 percent of them have become satisfied as a result of consistent follow-up.
Rejecting any manhandling of illegal aliens, the Interior Minister said Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has given very clear directions that there should be no manhandling during the repatriation process. He also assured the House that any mismanagement on the borders will be checked and suggestions from the political leadership in this regard will be welcomed. He further said that no Afghan refugee having legal documents has been even touched. He said Afghans and Pakistanis are tied in a common string of brotherhood and they have great respect for one another. He, however, said as foreign forces have left Afghanistan and now refugees should too go to their country. He reiterated that action is only against illegal aliens, who have no valid travel documents, and the state of Pakistan wants to end this illegality. He said anyone, who wants to come to Pakistan on valid documents will be welcomed.
The Caretaker Interior Minister said that action against illegal social media Apps offering online interest based loans has been initiated. He said 111 such apps have been black listed, while a sum of 1.8 billion rupees confiscated and cases registered under cybercrime.
Speaking on the motion, the lawmakers urged the government to give sufficient time to ensure honorable and dignified repatriation of Afghan citizens. They also emphasized on evolving a comprehensive strategy and plan in this respect. They also suggested the chairman to convene a meeting of the “Committee of the Whole” with an invitation to relevant authorities for proper and detailed briefing on the issue.
Earlier, the Senate resumed its session at the Parliament House in Islamabad with Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani in the chair.
It was a private members' business day in the House today. Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, on the behalf of the entire House, extended felicitations to the Pakistani Hindu community on Diwali festival.
Three bills were introduced in the House.
These include "The Banking Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2023", "The Pakistan Names and Emblems (Prevention of Unauthorised Use) (Amendment) Bill, 2023" and "The Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2023."
The chair referred the bills to the standing committees concerned.
The House will now meet tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.
Source: Radio Pakistan