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Pakistan has announced that it will stop the deportation of undocumented Afghan migrants following talks with the chief of the United Nations refugee agency.

After Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), visited Pakistan, the UN announced that Grandi appreciated Pakistan’s suspension of the “Illegal Foreigners Repatriation Plan” and sought assurances it would remain on hold. UN officials later provided more details, confirming that Pakistan agreed to halt the deportations for humanitarian reasons.


Various news outlets speaking to Pakistani officials confirmed the UNHCR’s claim that deportations had halted but did not confirm how long they would be on hold.

This development comes after Pakistan initiated a crackdown on all illegal foreigners, attributing a surge in terrorist attacks to individuals who are refugees. This effort has targeted over 1 million Afghan migrants and asylum-seekers without legal documents or valid visas. Since the crackdown began, nearly 600,000 Afghans have been repatriated.

According to the United Nations, Pakistan is home to “1.3 million registered Afghan refugees while another 840,000 hold Citizenship Cards that give them some protection. A further 1.5 million Afghans are estimated to be living in Pakistan without any documentation.”


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