As many as 50 more illegal immigrants in Karachi were taken into custody on Friday as the police crackdown on undocumented aliens continued on its third day.

“Some 40 to 50 more Afghans were taken into custody today [Friday],” said Syed Abdul Jabbar, Afghan Consul General in Karachi, while speaking to The Daily Relation Times.

He said that according to the information available with him, approximately 300 Afghans had been apprehended in Karachi since the crackdown began on November 1, and in the first batch, 150 of them were sent to the Chaman border on Thursday.

He said he had information about the apprehension of another 40 to 50 Afghans on Friday. The Afghan diplomat denied having information about another batch of Afghans sent to the Chaman border. “It is possible that more apprehensions may take place by tonight, and then the second batch will be sent,” he remarked.

He expressed disappointment with the police action saying that police were harassing even those Afghans who had legal documents and extorting bribes from them.

A majority of the undocumented Afghans had already left before the crackdown started, the Afghan consul general claimed. “Currently, the majority of the operation is happening in the surroundings of Sohrab Goth, Gulzar-e-Hijri, SITE Super Highway, and the new Sabzi Mandi areas and continuous complaints are being received from these areas,” he complained. “Police are harassing even those Afghans who possess legal documentation such as identity cards and passports but despite this, the police are extorting bribes from them.”

He added that higher authorities, including the chief minister and Sindh inspector general of police, had also been informed about police harassing foreigners with legal documents.

However, the police have denied the allegations made by the Afghan consulate that cops were demanding bribes from foreigners.

The police claim that the verification and scrutiny process was time-consuming, which could result in considerable suffering for those detained. “The suffering from the lengthy process of scrutiny can be acknowledged. However, it cannot be accepted that the police are demanding bribes from anyone,” said Aurangzaib Khattak, SHO of the Sachal police station of District East who is actively involved in the crackdown.

“It is also not possible that the police who are involved in such a large-scale operation, involving both local and externally summoned forces, would engage in demanding bribes from the detainees during this time. I do not believe such allegations. However, I do acknowledge that detainees may indeed suffer due to the lengthy process.”

Regarding the crackdown, the officer mentioned that the District East police had so far detained approximately 200 undocumented immigrants from Sohrab Goth and its surrounding areas.

SHO Khattak explained that on the first day of the action, about 33 illegal immigrants were detained, approximately 60 were detained on the second day, and around 23 were detained on the third day.

He added that on the third day, 71 illegal immigrants, mostly families, also voluntarily surrendered. “The police provided them with food from their funds and even sent them to the holding centre after adorning them with flower garlands,” the officer explained.

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