MIRPUR (AJK)

Civil authorities in Azad Jammu Kashmir are all set to launch a grand operation in collaboration with the Pak Army to deport the unlawfully-settled Afghan refugees from here, official sources said.

The administration has called the services of Pak Army for the complete evacuation of the unlawful Afghan refugees from the AJK territory, the sources said. Earlier in Mirpur, the authorities had fixed January 10, 2015 as the deadline asking such unlawful foreigners to leave the district voluntarily.

“Special teams headed by magistrates and comprising police and army men will launch the grand operation within next two days to round-up the illegal Afghan nationals besides those local residents to be found responsible for providing shelter or job to such illegal immigrants in Mirpur District”, disclosed SSP Raja Irfan Salim when contacted by The Nation  here on Wednesday.

He said that the local residents found providing shelter in their buildings on rent or jobs to the unlawful Afghan nationals would be booked under the orders. To a question, Irfan Salim said that a total of 12,393 Afghan nationals were settled in Mirpur district. “Of these, 6,500 Afghan refugees have no formal registration by NADRA or the Proof of Residence.

He underlined that only 400 Afghan refugees had been found registered and issued the Registration Card by the office of the  National Database Registration Authority in Mirpur district. The district police chief declared that other registered Afghan refugees who were served the Registration Card from other districts of Pakistan or AJK, also fall in the category of unlawful settlers, and they would be nabbed and deported from the territorial jurisdiction of Mirpur during the scheduled grand operation.

About 150 unlawful Afghan refugees voluntarily moved from various parts including Mirpur, Dadayal, Chakswari, Jaatlan by the deadline. To a question, the SSP said that security has been put on high alert to maintain peace across the district. The number of the police force has been increased to exceptional extent at all the entry points leading to Mirpur district, he pointed out.

SECTION 144 IMPOSED: The district magistrate has, Under Section 144 CrPC, prohibited providing any logistic, employment or otherwise support in any form to any of the illegal foreigner especially Afghan refugees living unlawfully in the territorial jurisdiction of Mirpur district, it was officially declared.

"The residents of Mirpur district are advised not to provide any shelter, job or any other support to the illegal immigrants settled in the district", the order issued late Wednesday warned. “Any of the person or persons, found defying the order would be penalised under section 188 APC (Azad Penal Code), the order said.

Taking immediate effect, the order shall remain in force for a period of two months, it added. The order elaborates that some unlawful foreigners sneaked into Pakistan illegally and moved and settled in Mirpur district unlawfully. “The number of such unlawful foreigners living unlawfully in the district had increased.”

Local residents had already been served with notices to evacuate their properties from such tenants besides relieving them from the jobs by the deadline of January 10, 2015.