Authorities declare African nationals ‘security threat’


By: Daily Times

* Majority of foreigners illegally residing in country linked with international terrorist groups, facilitating local extremists

LAHORE: Law enforcement agencies have declared the thousands of foreigners – particularly citizens of African countries – residing in Pakistan a “security threat” in light of the ongoing spate of terrorism in the country, sources told Daily Times on Tuesday.

According to sources, the majority of the African nationals were illegally residing in different cities and were involved in “suspicious activities”. Sources said that intelligence agencies harboured strong suspicions that a handful of these foreigners were also linked with international terrorist groups and were facilitating local extremists. The law enforcement agencies are going to launch a major crackdown against illegal foreign residents across the country, after completing surveillance and compiling monitoring reports. The authorities would round up all law-breaking foreigners, lodge cases against them and deport them once they have served their sentences.

Sources said the Interior Ministry had issued directions to all four provincial police departments for monitoring the activities and maintaining data on the whereabouts of foreigners – especially African nationals. At this, the foreign branches of the police departments compiled comprehensive data on the whereabouts of foreigners with the cooperation of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and forwarded to the authorities concerned.

Rented houses: The surveillance reports revealed that majority of citizens from African countries were settled in the post localities of Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The reports confirmed their involvement in several illegal activities while some of them were also found to be in contact with many suspicious people. While some were also running illegal bars and clubs in their rented houses. Sources said, the reports mentioned that a large number of foreigners from African countries including Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania were residing illegally in Pakistan. The reports revealed that these foreigners entered Pakistan through different visas, both visit and student visas. Later, they allegedly prepared fake documents to extend their stay in the country with the connivance of the authorities concerned. All foreigners are bound by law to inform police about their movement and their exit from the country. But, the majority of these foreigners disappeared from the scene and did not inform the authorities.

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