150 illegal Pakistani workers deported from Kandahar
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): As many as 150 Pakistani workers illegally staying in southern Kandahar province have been arrested and handed over to Pakistani border officials, an official said on Monday.
The police a few days ago started arresting Pakistani nationals lacking legal stay documents. Local officials say most of the deported Pakistanis were from the Punjab province.
Zia Durrani, Kandahar police spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News police had launched crackdown on Pakistani nationals coming to the province without legal documents.
He said only those Pakistanis who lacked legal stay documents were being arrested and the process would continue until all illegal Pakistanis were sent back home country.
The 150 detained Pakistanis were officially handed over to Pakistani border officials through the Spin Boldak border crossing.
The Kandahar governor’s spokesman, Samim Khpalwak, confirmed the operation against illegal Pakistani nationals, saying those lacking legal stay documents and work permit were being arrested.
He said no foreign citizen would be allowed to come to Afghanistan without having legal documents.
Afghanistan’s labour law makes it compulsory for foreigners to obtain work permit from the government.
On the other hand, a number of traders, entrepreneurs and other people who had hired Pakistani labourers expressed their disappointment with the development.
They said people hired Pakistani workers because of a shortage of skilled labourers in their factories, companies and other fields.
A number of brick kilns owners have complained to the provincial council (PC) about the detention of Pakistani workers.
Haji Dost Mohammad, who owns brick kilns, said there were more than 100 kilns in Kandahar where tens of Pakistani labourers worked.
They employed Pakistanis because they were skilled workers, he added, adding the deportation of Pakistani workers had brought to a halt his business. He asked security organs and the Kandahar government to soften their stance on the matter.
A resident of Kandahar City, Abdul Malik, said the construction process of several buildings in Kandahar City involved Pakistani workers who if deported would cause problems for local people.
He said most of factories, barbers and furniture companies having hired Pakistani workers would face problems or even face closure with the deportation of Pakistani workers.
The government should issue legal documents and visas to Pakistani workers if it wanted to prevent any possible problems caused by them, Malik added.
Kandahar labour and social affairs director, Nazar Ali Qatai, said only 20 Pakistani workers with a number of factories and organizations were registered with his department.
However, he added hundreds of other Pakistani workers in the province lacked legal documents.
Since 2001 when the new Afghan government was established, thousands of foreign nationals most of them Pakistanis came to Afghanistan for work, particularly in the construction sector.
But their number decreased with escalating insecurity in parts of the country.
The decision to deport Pakistani workers comes as thousands of Afghan refugees and workers in Pakistan were arrested and repatriated to Afghanistan.
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