Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani has briefed Afghanistan’s Interim Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi on the challenges affecting regional peace.
The interim government has set a 28-day deadline (November 1) for all illegal immigrants, including Afghan refugees, to depart the country voluntarily or face forced expulsion.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighted that Jilani stressed the importance of addressing the challenges to regional peace and stability through collaborative efforts and collective strategies.
“The Foreign Minister reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to strengthening bilateral ties with Afghanistan,” the ministry added.
This meeting took place in Tibet, China, where the foreign minister is participating in the Third Trans-Himalaya Forum for International Cooperation from October 4 to 5.
The decision to urge illegal migrants to leave the country stems from Pakistan’s recent increase in illegal and terrorist activities, some involving Afghan nationals.
“We have given them a deadline of November 1,” stated interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti on October 3, emphasizing that all illegal immigrants should depart voluntarily or face forced expulsion after this date.
Bugti revealed that 14 out of 24 suicide bombings in the country this year were carried out by Afghan nationals.
He also mentioned that 1.73 million Afghan nationals in Pakistan lacked legal documentation to stay, and a total of 4.4 million Afghan refugees resided in Pakistan.
Pakistan has experienced an influx of Afghan refugees since the Soviet invasion of Kabul in 1979, but the country has seen an increase in terrorism since the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a group with safe havens in Afghanistan, ended its ceasefire with the government late last year.
Two suicide bombings targeting religious gatherings in Pakistan last week resulted in at least 57 casualties. Bugti revealed that one of the suicide bombers was identified as an Afghan national.
Taliban authorities have been attempting to encourage the return of those who left, despite a significant reduction in aid to the nation following the collapse of the US-backed government.
Furthermore, in response to Pakistan’s plan to expel hundreds of thousands of Afghan migrants, Taliban authorities have expressed their disapproval, deeming it “unacceptable.”
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