Mass Deportations in Pakistan
Millions of undocumented foreigners face deportation from Pakistan today as the government's deadline to leave voluntarily expires. Four million migrants—nearly half of whom are not documented—are from neighboring Afghanistan, where wars and fear of persecution under strict Taliban rule have prompted broad migrations in recent decades.
The deportation deadline, initiated early last month, comes amid mounting political and economic issues in Pakistan, including record-high inflation and uncertainty around postponed general elections. Detention centers have been set up around the country to handle the expected hundreds of thousands who did not leave ahead of the deadline. Analysts claim the policy signals growing hostility between the two closely tied countries (read overview).
Tens of thousands of Afghans returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan over the last month, including those with documents fearing separation from family. Many Afghans in the country are refugees seeking resettlement in the US, the EU, or elsewhere.