Around 70,000 illegal and suspicious computerized national identity cards (CNICs) have been blocked across Balochistan in a provide-wide crackdown by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).
This was disclosed by Balochistan’s Caretaker Information Minister Jan Achakzai on Friday.
The focus of this measure appears to be on Afghan nationals who have acquired ID cards over the years and are currently residing in Pakistan.
Minister Achakzai mentioned that NADRA is currently in the process of re-verifying these suspected CNICs, with a majority of them being suspended in the Chaman and Killa Abdullah districts of Balochistan.
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He also highlighted that illegal immigrants, particularly Afghan nationals, will be assisted in returning to Afghanistan through border crossings in Chaman, Qamruddin Karez, and Barabcha.
It’s essential to note that the federal government’s decision to repatriate undocumented foreign nationals is not exclusively directed at Afghan nationals.
Minister Achakzai urged political parties not to politicize this policy and emphasized that refugees from Sindh and Punjab would also receive support from the Balochistan government for their safe return within the specified deadline.
In response to concerns about border security, Achakzai pointed out that allowing free movement at Chaman and Spin Boldak borders could potentially lead to similar demands from the people of Waziristan.
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As a result, he stressed the importance of enforcing passport requirements and questioned the consequences of permitting 50,000 individuals to cross borders without valid documentation, which could negatively impact the country’s reputation.
Minister Achakzai advised political parties to express their criticism of the government’s actions without jeopardizing national stability. To ensure the orderly repatriation of illegal immigrants, all law enforcement agencies are intensifying their cooperation.
After the November deadline for illegal immigrants expires, the government will not permit any Afghans to enter Pakistan without proper documents, and the crackdown on illegal immigrants is expected to be further intensified following the deadline.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 28th2023.