Decision to deport illegal foreigners in line with sovereign laws, int’l norms: FO

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The Foreign Office on Monday said the decision to deport the illegal foreigners residing in Pakistan was in line with the sovereign domestic laws and international principles. Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, in response to a statement by the United Nations High Commissioner (UNHCR), said the decision was “in exercise of Pakistan’s sovereign domestic laws, and compliant with applicable international norms and principles.”

The UNHCR had appealed to the Pakistani authorities to suspend the deportations as a November 1 deadline looms. “We have seen the press statement by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Illegal Foreigners Repatriation Plan (IFRP) applies to all illegal foreigners residing in Pakistan, irrespective of their nationality and country of origin,” she said in a statement. Baloch said all foreign nationals legally residing or registered in Pakistan were beyond the purview of this Plan. “The Government of Pakistan takes its commitments towards protection and safety needs of those in vulnerable situations with utmost seriousness,” she said. She mentioned that the country’s record of the last 40 years in hosting millions of the Afghan brothers and sisters spoke for itself. The FO spokesperson urged the international community to scale up collective efforts to address protracted refugee situations through advancing durable solutions as a matter of priority. “Pakistan will continue to work with our international partners to this end,” she said.