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Bengali, Afghan migrants to get ID cards, passports

Imran Khan said the identity crisis of thousands of Bengali and Afghan migrants is pushing them to crime.

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 16, 2018 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Posted: Sep 16, 2018 | Last Updated: 2 years ago

Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced that the government will issue national identity cards and passports to immigrants from Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

He announced this while addressing a fundraising event for dam construction during his first official visit to Karachi on Sunday.

The PM said that the identity crisis of thousands of Bengali and Afghan immigrants is pushing them to crime.

“Terrorism and target killing has declined in Karachi but there is a major reason behind the street crimes. It is an underclass. They are illiterate and jobless. They are the Bengalis and Afghans who are living in Pakistan.”

“These immigrants have lived here for decades, their children were born here, but they don't have identity cards and passports,” he said.

The people of this deprived class can’t get jobs without ID cards and passports, so our government has decided to issue them computerised national identity cards and passports, Khan said.

There are around two million Bengali and Burmese migrants in Pakistan. They either do not possess ID cards or their cards have been revoked on suspicion of being illegal immigrants.

Pakistan also hosts 1.5million registered Afghan refugees in different provinces and Azad Kashmir.

‘Fund for future generations’

Prime Minister Imran Khan urged people to donate generously for the construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams.

It is very unfortunate that past governments preferred expensive electricity through imported fuel over affordable hydel power.

He said the past governments increased debt burden on Pakistan's economy. “That is why we are unable to fund a dam with public funds. The entire nation needs to mobilize for construction of dams.”

Imran Khan said China has 84,000 dams, India 5,000 while Pakistan has only two large dams.

He said the government needs to raise Rs30 billion annually, hoping that he would collect the required funds in five to seven years.
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