ISLAMABAD - As expected, Interior Minster Rehman Maliks 'ultimatum to illegal immigrants to vacate the country within 15 days has proved to be just another claim sans any practical demonstration with the given deadline getting passed today (Saturday). Rehman Malik on last January 08 had termed the illegal immigrants, especially the unregistered Afghans, a challenge for the security situation in the wake of the target-killings and the prevailing unrest in Karachi where, according to the Minister, over 2 million illegal Afghans were sheltering. The Minister had vowed to initiate legal action against the expatriates unlawfully residing here. Currently, no such policy has been devised and announced that could lay the provisions of expulsion of unregistered expatriates, which hail from different countries other than Afghanistan including Central Asia, Africa, and other neighbouring states. Although, there is no specific data or authentic source to verify this claim, but Pakistan is believed to be one of those countries, which contain highest number of illegal immigrants and which have paid too heavy a price at the hands of these refugees. Around 4.1 million to 4.3 million immigrants are sheltering across the four provinces of the country and including over 1 million of unregistered Afghans in the bordering areas of Afghanistan, comprising North Waziristan, Mohmand, Bajaur and Khyber agencies and parts of FATA, over 5 million illegal expatriates are living in Pakistan. While Afghan immigrants are issued the Proof of Registration (PoR) cards as a proof of verification, the absence of any authentic mechanism to bring the expatriates from other countries into verification process is a serious security issue in itself. The PoR cards are issued to Afghan refugees by NADRA at PoR Card Modification (PCM) centres. These PCM centres are running in Karachi, Lahore, Haripur, Peshawar and Quetta. The registration process is active since 2005 but only 1.7 million Afghans are registered, which are less than half of unregistered ones (3.5 million). For the immigrants of other nationalities, no evident system of registration, monitoring or surveillance is prevalent amid their intensive intermingling with the locals. With top UN officials telling UN Security Council that there were no evident signs of improvement in security situation and living conditions in Afghanistan in the near future, and with the recent fatal attack right in the heart of the Kabul on last Monday, ground scenario clearly indicates that incapable Afghan Government would not be welcoming towards its own nationals (Afghan returnees) and Pakistan will have to bear the brunt of Karzais failures. Besides, it is also astonishing and questionable why the Government of Pakistan has failed to press the diplomatic missions of the neighbouring countries whose nationals are unlawfully residing here to take up this issue and make arrangements for their return. Instead of making cosmetic media statements only to gather cheaper publicity, the Government needs to take up this matter with the United Nations and respective countries for the redressal of this longstanding problem.