LAHORE  - The Punjab government arrested 391 foreigners involved in illegal activities in a year and deported 80 from the country, The Nation learnt on Wednesday.

As per the report prepared and despatched to Islamabad by the Punjab government, those arrested were involved in smuggling, spying, narcotics and other heinous crimes. Some of them had expired visas.

The federal government, a couple of days back, sought a report from all the provinces regarding the number of illegal immigrants detained in different jails and the number of those deported last year.

Sources in the Punjab government disclosed that the citizens of 24 countries were arrested by different agencies and imprisoned in 13 jails of the province. The documents available with this paper shows that 284 Afghan citizens, 52 Nigerian, 14 British, three each from Zambia and Tanzania, two each from UAE, Ghana, China and Syria, four of Bangladesh, five Indian and one each from Oman, North Africa, Thailand, Belgium, Kenya, Malaysia, Turkey, Philippines and Canada were detained during the year.

The documents further disclosed that 105 citizens were detained in Rawalpindi, 96 in Lahore, 24 in Attock, 17 in Gujranwala, 16 in DG Khan, 11 in Sialkot, four in Gujrat, six in Faisalabad, five in MB Din, three in Jhelum, two in RY Khan and one each in Sahiwal and Sargodha jails.

It was also mentioned in the report that 80 citizens were deported from Pakistan in one year. As per details, 34 citizens of Afghanistan, 20 of Bangladesh, nine of India, eight of Tanzania, three of South African, two of UAE and one each of Egypt, Nigeria, Nepal and Cambodia were deported from Pakistan.

An official of the Punjab government privy to the issue disclosed that about three million illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, African countries and Iran were currently living in Quetta, Peshawar, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and other cities. He said despite taking measures like biometric facility, machine readable passports, blacklisting of traffickers, installation of human trafficking information system, setting up of immigration intelligence units at FIA Headquarters and foolproof security at all the international airports, illegal immigrants could not be controlled. A police officer said the cold war in Afghanistan in 1980s, the war on terrorism, friendly policies and international obligations on Pakistan to accommodate Afghan refugees resulted in the surge of immigrants’ number.