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Pakistan threatens to expel illegal Afghan immigrants

The country has set a one-month deadline for all Afghan nationals deemed “illegal immigrants” to leave Pakistan. The Taliban criticised the move as “unacceptable.”

The Taliban administration’s spokesman in Kabul, Zabihullah Mujahid, stated on Wednesday that forcible expulsion of Afghan immigrants was unacceptable, adding that the people were not to blame for Pakistan’s security problems.

There are an estimated 1.73 million undocumented Afghan immigrants living in Pakistan. Its interim government stipulated on Tuesday that they must voluntarily leave the country by 1 November, otherwise they would face forced exile.

The behaviour of Pakistan towards Afghan refugees is unacceptable. Pakistani side should reconsider its plan.

In justification, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti claimed that Afghan nationals had carried out 14 of the 24 suicide bombings in Pakistan this year. A Taliban spokesman denied the allegation.

“Afghan refugees are not involved in Pakistan’s security problems. As long as they leave Pakistan voluntarily, that country should tolerate them.”

Pakistan’s ultimatum to immigrants followed a meeting of civilian and military leaders after two suicide bombings on Friday that killed at least 57 people. Bugti stated one of the bombers was an Afghan national, also blaming Indian intelligence for involvement.

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