The caretaker government has decided to evict 11 lacs foreigners living illegally in Pakistan because of their involvement in funding, and facilitating terrorists and other illegal activities together with the smuggling of commodities, foreign currencies, fertilizers, transportation of theft vehicles, kidnapping of Pakistani citizens and other serious crimes. The government has planned to expel illegal residents in the first phase, unregistered Afghan citizens would be deported in the second phase and the refugees with proof of residence will be repatriated in the third phase of the newly defined operation.
There had been wide-ranging reservations and criticism of the Afghan policy of the military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq on Afghan jihad that brought countless biases in Pakistani society which has now shaped into grave challenges to the country. The menace of extremism, flourishing terrorism, introduction to Klashinkov and heroine culture, the heirloom of lawlessness, the upsurge in street crimes, and skyrocketing inflation all are the outcomes of myopic strategies of Pakistani Political leadership and bureaucrats, who ruined a prospering nation in search of so-called strategic depth over the past four decades. Pakistan’s population has reached over 240 million inhabitants while millions of legal and illegal foreigners/ refugees are continuously adding to the already deteriorating economic conditions in the country. The recent upsurge in terrorism and its sponsorship from abroad, unbelievable price hikes and the revelation of the smuggling of essential commodities to neighbouring Afghanistan and Iran which actually choked the Pakistani nation at this time. The grave economic, and security situations sensitized the leaders about drowning the ship of the Pakistani nation, who finally abandoned the policy of appeasement and facilitation of so-called foreign allies on the heavy cost of national image, territorial and economic sovereignty of the country.
Realistically, the issue of repatriation of the illegal immigrants and Afghan refugees had been taken up with Afghan authorities and the UN by the successive Pakistani governments but the solution of this important problem had always been delayed due to law and order situation in Afghanistan, lack of funds and administrative problems on the part of Afghan governments, while no repatriation of Afghan refugees has cost heavy price to Pakistan. Currently, illegally resident foreigners pose a serious threat to the security of the country, while a sinking economy can not afford this burden anymore. The caretaker government has charted out a strategy for the expellion of illegal Afghan citizens and dignified return of Afghan registered refugees to their homeland, which is a sane but delayed decision. In fact, the repatriation of Afghan refugees and expulsion of illegal migrants of all nationalities together with thousands of Indians, Bengalis, Afghan and Beharis, is unavoidable at this time if Pakistani leaders intend to prevent further disasters in this country.
As the rulers have taken up a nation building and homemaking agenda, it should be noted that our country needs drastic reforms in all walks of life ranging from Municipality level governance including sanitation and encroachment issues to traffic regulating and preservation of highly essential forests and vegetation. The provision of state owned education and health facilities in all parts of the country are essential to provide quality education and healthcare to the masses. Meanwhile, the introduction of nationwide health insurance programs through public-private partnership which does not cost extra financial burden to the state is of utmost importance. In fact, a five year wholehearted nation building endeavor is urgently needed to reset the course of the country if rulers could spare some moments and sacrifice their political, monetary and family thirst for this great national cause.