The Taliban-led government of Afghanistan has expressed strong disapproval of Pakistan’s recent decision to expel undocumented Afghan nationals, deeming it “unacceptable.”
In a statement issued by spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid, the Afghan government asserted that Afghan refugees are not linked to the security concerns facing Pakistan.
The behavior of Pakistan against Afghan refugees is unacceptable. The Pakistani side should reconsider its plan. Afghan refugees are not involved in Pakistan's security problems. As long as they leave Pakistan voluntarily, that country should tolerate them.
— Zabihullah (..ذبـــــیح الله م ) (@Zabehulah_M33) October 4, 2023
Pakistan’s Expulsion Ultimatum
This policy shift comes as Pakistan announced that all foreign nationals residing in the country without legal documentation, including millions of Afghans, have until November 1 to leave voluntarily or face deportation.
These measures are part of a comprehensive strategy adopted by Pakistan’s civil and military leadership to address the escalating terrorist threats.
High-Level Meeting and Message to Afghanistan
The National Action Plan (NAP) apex committee, convened under the stewardship of interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, convened to deliberate on the prevailing security conditions. This high-level assembly included the presence of Army Chief General Asim Munir, cabinet ministers, and senior security officials.
In what appears to be a direct message to the interim Afghan administration, Pakistan has made it unequivocally clear that it will not maintain a “business as usual” relationship with its neighboring country.
Pakistan’s Repatriation Decision
Speaking to the media after the meeting, the interior minister announced that the federal government had taken the decision to repatriate all illegal foreign nationals residing in Pakistan starting from November 1.
All foreign individuals residing in Pakistan without legal authorization have been granted a 28-day window to exit the nation voluntarily; otherwise, they will face forced eviction, he further explained.
While the government refrained from specifying any country by name, it is evident that this move is primarily directed at the hundreds of thousands of Afghan nationals living in Pakistan without legal status. Official estimates indicate that approximately 1.1 million Afghans currently reside in Pakistan without the requisite documents or legal channels to stay in the country.