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Sindh approves Rs4.5bn for repatriation of illegal foreigners

Sindh approves Rs4.5bn for repatriation of illegal foreigners

طوبیٰ Tooba 9 months ago 0 1

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Afghan refugees arrive in trucks and cars to cross the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Chaman on October 31, 2023. — AFP
Afghan refugees arrive in trucks and cars to cross the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Chaman on October 31, 2023. — AFP
  • CM directs provision of support to district admin for repatriation.
  • Cabinet approves funds for wheat subsidies and minimum wage.  
  • The meeting strongly condemned Israel’s inhuman attacks on Gaza.

KARACHI: Just hours before the expiry of the deadline set for the voluntary return of illegal foreigners, the caretaker Sindh cabinet, headed by Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar, gave its nod to allocate Rs4.5 billion for the repatriation of illegal immigrants.

During the meeting, the home secretary told the cabinet that the federal government has decided to repatriate all illegal foreigners after November 1.

The Ministry of Interior has shared the Illegal Foreigners Repatriation Plan (IFRP) outlining necessary actions to be taken by all the provinces. It was pointed out that the federal cabinet whilst approving the IFRP decided that the provinces would bear the cost of the logistics, however, the issue would still be flagged at the appropriate level.

The cabinet was told that an amount of Rs4.5 billion was required to carry out the repatriation of illegal foreigners from Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Shaheed Benazirabad, Mirpurkhas, and Larkana divisions.

The cabinet after discussion approved the funds outside the budget allocations. The CM directed the home minister to provide necessary support of the police to the district administration for the repatriation of illegal foreigners.

The provincial cabinet also approved the retirement of Rs25 billion in liabilities under the wheat subsidies and Rs32,000 minimum wage.

The cabinet also strongly condemned the Israel’s inhuman attacks on Gaza and the killing of innocent people in Palestine. The Israeli occupying forces targeted the civilians and even did not spare the hospital.

The cabinet demanded an immediate ceasefire. The cabinet said that the ruthless attack was a sheer violation of international humanitarian laws. “The Israeli attacks constitute a grave crime against humanity,” the cabinet said.

The CM directed the finance department to communicate with the federal government regarding clearing liabilities up to Rs. 25.000 billion in 2023-24. The provincial cabinet approved a grant of compensation to the victims of the incident at Sakrand, District Nawabshah at a rate of Rs8 million for the family of each deceased and Rs2 million for the injured and free education to one child of the deceased. 

Crackdown against illegal immigrants from Nov 2

Earlier today, caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti announced that the government would start a crackdown on undocumented immigrants, including hundreds of thousands of Afghan nationals, from Thursday (November 2).

“Only two days are left for a voluntary return,” Bugti said in a video-recorded statement, adding that the November 1 deadline set for the voluntary return will expire on Wednesday.

From November 2 onward, he said, “Our lengthy and gradual operation will start,” ensuring that, “We are not deporting any refugees. Only those who are completely illegal will leave Pakistan.”

Pakistan is home to more than 4 million Afghan migrants and refugees, about 1.7 million of them undocumented, according to the interior ministry, including many who were born in Pakistan and lived there their entire lives.

Islamabad announced earlier this month that it wanted all undocumented immigrants to leave by November 1.

Islamabad said it took the decision after Afghan nationals were found to be involved in crimes, smuggling and 14 suicide bombings out of 24 this year, alleging that the militants use Afghan soil to train fighters and plan attacks inside Pakistan.

The expulsion plan marks a new low in already fractured relations between the South Asian neighbours.

Bugti said those leaving voluntarily will be assisted by the government at temporary centres set up to house the immigrants.

“We will try to provide them food and health facilities for two to three days at the holding centers,” the interior minister said.

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