PESHAWAR: As many as 7,380 illegal immigrants mostly Afghans registered at Landikotal holding camp on the first day were deported to their home countries via the Torkham border that connects Pakistan with landlocked Afghanistan, ARY News reported.
On the first day of the nationwide campaign for deportation of illegal foreigners started on Wednesday after the expiry of the October 31 deadline, about 7,380 undocumented immigrants were registered at Landikotal camp were later deported via the Torkham border in free transport service.
“A total of 64 illegal immigrants that were released from Adyala jail Rawalpindi and shifted to Peshawar and 51 undocumented foreigners released from Central Jail Peshawar were also deported via Torkham,” said Lateefur Rehman, spokesman of KP Home Department while talking to APP.
An influx of immigrants mostly Afghans are coming from Islamabad and Punjab province to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where three holding camps were set up for verification and documentation process before their deportation to home countries.
On the first day, a substantial number of illegal foreigners mostly Afghans came from different cities of Punjab province to hold camp Landikotal, situated some eight kilometers from Torkham border.
“Till 9:30 p.m, 7,380 illegal immigrants were registered at Landikotal camp who were later deported through Torkham border,” the spokesman said.
According to the Interior Ministry, more than four million Afghans have been living in Pakistan for the last four decades out of whom about 1.7 million are unregistered.
Lateef said shifting of illegal foreigners to holding camps at Landikotal, Peshawar and Haripur would continue under KP Govt arrangements. He said illegal immigrants were also deported through Angoor Ada South Waziristan, Kharlachi Kurram and Ghulam Khan North Waziristan authorized border points.
He said the registration target of shifting 7,500 illegal immigrants to Landikotal camp was set for today and till 930 p.m, 7,380 undocumented foreigners were registered at the said camp where free food, water and shelters were provided before deportation.
He said Wednesday and Thursday were reserved for repatriation of the detained illegal foreigners coming from Islamabad, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, Friday and Saturday for Punjab and Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for KP.
The spokesman said that free transport services up to Torkham were also being provided to illegal immigrants.
Over 62 illegal immigrants moved from Islamabad and Rawalpindi through two buses reached Landi Kotal in District Khyber at 1:30 pm and were later deported.
NADRA officials at Landi Kotal are processing verification through 15 vans and more such vans are being arranged owing to a heavy influx of illegal immigrants in upcoming days. He said an additional three vans were arranged by NADRA for verification.
Under the Integrated Border Management System (IBMS), the total capacity of FIA staff at Torkham is 2500 while eight additional staff were deployed for smooth repatriation of illegal immigrants.
At Angoor Ada South Waziristan, FIA’s staff total capacity is 1000 while seven additional staff deployed besides 1000 employees each at Khalachi Kurram and Ghulam Khan in North Waziristan cross points with seven additional staff respectively.
He said no foreigner would be allowed to enter Pakistan unless he showed a valid legal document including a visa and passport from November 1 and onward.