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More than 5,000 Afghan migrants have returned from Pakistan, Iran: Taliban

Taliban-led Afghanistan’s Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation said more than 5,000 Afghan migrants have returned to their country from Pakistan and Iran, Afghanistan-based Khaama Press reported.

The Taliban-led ministry announced on Thursday that some 5,179 immigrants from Pakistan and Iran had returned to Afghanistan.
Among these migrants, 3,591 people, including families, arrived in China, forcibly and voluntarily, according to the Taliban-appointed border official in Islam Qala Herat.

In addition, the Taliban-led ministry said around 1,585 Afghan migrants forcibly returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan through the Spin Boldak border on Wednesday. Some migrants identified as vulnerable and in need of assistance have been referred to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for assistance.
Many Afghan migrants in Pakistan and Iran have been detained for lack of legal residency documents and are often repatriated to Afghanistan. Pakistan and Iran continue to deport Afghan migrants despite repeated calls from the UN and some Western countries to stop deporting Afghan migrants, Khaama Press reports.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said the government had no plans to extend the deadline for deporting migrants, saying, “We talked about deporting illegal residents, but the message was conveyed as if we were only deporting Afghans, Khaama Press reported.” the government’s message was not just for Afghans, it was for all illegal migrants.”

Despite pressure from various countries to reconsider its decision to deport illegal immigrants living in the country, Pakistan remains resolute and unwilling to change its stance, Pakistan’s The Express Tribune reported.

Pakistan decided to deport an estimated 1.7 million foreign nationals, mainly Afghans, who were staying there illegally. They have until October 31 to leave, otherwise, they face deportation.
“We are sticking to our decision. There will be no flexibility. All foreigners living in the country illegally will have to meet the October 31 deadline,” a senior government official told The Express Tribune, requesting anonymity.

Some countries have asked for a review of the decision following Pakistan’s action, The Express Tribune reported, citing officials. The government has informed foreign diplomatic missions in detail about the proposal in an attempt to address their concerns.
Concerned that Pakistan’s policy would result in the expulsion of thousands of Afghans who lived in Pakistan and worked for the US and its allies, the United States and some European nations expressed concern over the situation. Many Afghans, numbering in the thousands, were waiting for visas to enter the United States or Europe.

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