Pakistan’s prime minister on Wednesday sought to reassure thousands of Afghans waiting in Pakistan for resettlement in the United States that they won’t be deported as part of his government’s widely criticized crackdown on undocumented migrants in the country. But US should keep its promises.
Islamabad has launched a crackdown on illegal migration, saying any unregistered foreign national and migrant lacking proper documentation would face arrest and deportation. The drive mostly affects Afghans because they are the majority of foreigners living in Pakistan, although the government says it’s targeting all who are in the country illegally.
At least 25,000 Afghans — who had worked for the American military or government, international organizations and aid agencies, as well as media and human rights groups — escaped the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021 to Pakistan and are waiting to be processed to relocate to the U.S.
Pakistani authorities said they have received a list with their names from U.S. officials.
Pakistan has long hosted about 1.7 million Afghans, most of whom fled during the 1979-1989 Soviet occupation. In addition, more than half a million people fled Afghanistan when the Taliban seized power in the final weeks of U.S. and NATO pullout.