Peshawar district govt to crack down on illegal Afghans

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At the expiry of one month deadline given to unregistered Afghan refugees living in Peshawar, the district government on Friday issued directives to police to launch a crackdown against them. The Peshawar district administration had issued a month’s deadline for unregistered Afghan nationals to leave the district by May 25 to avoid consequences. Hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees are living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa illegally, which the government considers a serious threat to peace. According to a well-placed source in the district administration, around 0.7 million Afghans were illegally staying in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 400,000 of them in Peshawar. Peshawar District Coordination Officer Siraj Ahmad Khan said the “one month deadline has been completed and now police have been asked to launch a crackdown to arrest Afghan refugees staying in Peshawar illegally”. The Afghan government is unhappy over the deadline and has requested an extension in time, for which a high-level meeting was summoned at the DCO office on Friday to consider the request. The DCO issued directives to the police authorities, empowering them to apprehend unregistered Afghans under Section 144. On the other hand, Afghan nationals condemned the decision and demanded an extension in deadline. “I have been doing business for the last couple years, if the Pakistani government does not register us legally, it should at least extend the deadline to let us transfers our business,” Raza Khan said, adding that it was not easy to wrap up business and collect outstanding dues. However, resident of Peshawar have welcomed the administration’s decision.