Pakistan denied entry to 120 Pakistani citizens deported by Saudi Arabia for not having the requisite entry documents but later allowed admittance to the deportees on orders of the interior ministry. It is highly unfortunate that the situation of unregistered deportees remains unresolved, and Pakistani citizens, born and raised in this country, are shuttled back and forth, punished harshly for leaving the country without recourse to justice. FIA was earlier supposed to send deportees back if they failed to provide documents but are now expected to take them into custody.

Earlier on Dec 10, Pakistani authorities refused to accept six migrants after the FIA found that they had been illegally deported to Pakistan from the UK. A week earlier, the authorities refused to accept 49 illegal Pakistani immigrants who had been deported by Greek authorities. Only 19 people were accepted following verification. The remaining 30 deportees were sent back to Greece on the special flight that brought them to Pakistan. Chaudhry Nisar has defended these actions by maintaining that most countries have been deporting illegal Pakistani citizens “without verification”, whereas under readmission agreements Pakistanis travelling illegally to any western country have to be deported after proper verification.

The underlying issue is not verification and ‘proper’ documentation. If the deportee is born in Pakistani, and holds the green passport, it is not their right to enter the country, whatever the condition might be? Imagine the situation of the immigrants after long flights dealing with hostile officials. No one is addressing humanitarian aspect of the problem, nor is anyone looking at the issue of why there are so many Pakistani’s willing to leave the country. 90,000 people were sent back to Pakistan this year, on charges of terrorism without proper verification. While Nisar is right to say that Pakistan cannot not allow any country to label its innocent citizens as terrorists and send them back on baseless allegations, it is also true that we cannot abandon them like this in hostile countries.