Interior Minister orders official to be respectful with undocumented immigrants

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Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti

ISLAMABAD, Oct 31 (DNA): Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti on Tuesday directed officials and agencies to be respectful with undocumented immigrants while detaining them in holding centers after the deadline.

Talking to media persons here, he said strict action would be taken against officials found involved in manhandling of the immigrants and including Afghans while transporting them to the holding centers.

He said, the ministry had established a complaint cell with hotline number to immediately address the complaints of mistreatment or manhandling with any illegal immigrant.

“We have given clear instructions to all agencies and officials to treat women, children and elders with special care and respect”  the minster said, adding that the arraignments for food and medical facilities were made in the holding centers.

The deadline for undocumented immigrants including Afghan refugees for voluntary return ended on October 31 after which the government’s crackdown against them had started in full swing, he added.

The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has collected entire data of undocumented immigrants in the country through geo-fencing, the minister said,  adding that those who still tried to escape government’s amnesty would be caught from their hideouts.

Bugti also warned of strict action against locals helping the immigrants and providing them shelter.

“Any Pakistani who will rent his house to illegal immigrant will be considered as partner in crime and treated equally according to the law,” he added. 

The minister said that it was a national duty of Pakistani citizens to inform the government about illegal immigrants and their residences.

“Now there are few hours remaining, whoever does not leave Pakistan by the specified time and does not have a valid visa and passport, he will be deported,”  he said.

He said that respect for women and elders was being considered during the evacuation, adding children were being treated with compassion, around two lakh illegal people had gone back during last two months.

The minister said that illegal residents could go back to their countries to get legal documents and come back here to do business and meetings with friends.