Pakistan orders 1.73 million illegal Afghan migrants to leave country by end of the month after rise in suicide bombings

Local residents stand at the site of a suicide bombing in Mastung near Quetta, Pakistan, Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)
By Thomas Brooke
2 Min Read

Pakistan has called for a mass exodus of illegal Afghan migrants living in the country after revealing that a majority of suicide bombings in the country so far this year were carried out by Afghan nationals.

The Pakistani government ordered an estimated 1.73 million Afghan nationals living illegally in the country to leave by the end of the month or they will be tracked down, detained, and forcibly removed.

“We have given them a Nov. 1 deadline,” said Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti on Tuesday.

“There are no two opinions that we are attacked from within Afghanistan and Afghan nationals are involved in attacks on us. We have evidence,” he added.

Islamabad reported that of the 24 suicide bombings recorded in the country in 2023, 14 had been carried out by Afghan terrorists. More than a third of the 4.4 million Afghan nationals living in Pakistan are doing so without authorization, the government revealed.

Bugti was speaking to the press after a meeting with caretaker Prime Minister Anwar ul-Haq Kakar and military chiefs to discuss an alarming increase in the number of attacks on Pakistani territory.

At least 57 people were killed, including seven children, in two suicide bombings detonated at two mosques in Pakistan last week, of which at least one attacker was an Afghan national. Dozens more were injured in the blasts.

The Taliban’s return to power in Kabul has led to political instability and rising tensions in the region, prompting Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, a militant Taliban group based in Pakistan to revoke a ceasefire with the government last year.

The Afghan Taliban has denied allegations from Islamabad that Afghan territory, particularly on the mountainous border region between the neighboring countries, is being used by militants as a training ground, and insists that Pakistan’s security concerns are a domestic issue.

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