Millions of foreigners are residing illegally and no one is bothered about their stay. This negligence is creating social problems besides law and order issues. Alone in Karachi, it is said that more than 2.5 million people are living illegally. Not only this but they are also enjoying all facilities including purchase of property and the right to do business. Thousands of Afghanis and others possess illegally acquired Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) and many of them have passports also. They are indulging in wrongdoings like smuggling while travelling on Pakistani passports thus tarnishing our image abroad. It is also on record, ex-army dictator General Zia-ul-Haq before his death in an interview with Urdu daily had categorically announced to give nationality of Pakistan to all Afghan refuges living in Pakistan (about 3.5 million). Fortunately, ex-army dictator could not implement his promise. Although the government has set up an organization for the registration of foreigners working here but still an overwhelming majority of illegal foreigners did not get registered themselves. I appeal to the federal government in the interest of the country, to launch a vigorous movement in cooperation with all provincial governments to get rid off such illegal foreigners particularly in Karachi as soon as possible. Nevertheless, some illegal foreigners are hesitant to return their countries as they fear victimization by Immigration Department at exit points in Pakistan. Getting rid off such people is a must for the betterment of the country. In this regard, a period of four months or so may be given to such foreigners to leave the country. It is essential that the federal government should categorically announce that those who would leave the country within stipulated date; they would be not subjected to any questions about their stay at all exit points like airports and check posts of land routes. Those who refuse to leave the country within the given date; they must be severely dealt with rigorous imprisonment with heavy fines. The proposed remission to the illegal foreigners may be extensively advertised through electric and print media informing such people to leave the country before the stipulated date with the warning that no such extension in time period would be given. MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL, Karachi, January 5.