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ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari on Monday said over 8,000 Pakistanis have returned home country under a Malaysian amnesty scheme.
He said the amnesty scheme was aimed at ensuring voluntarily repatriation of illegal immigrants from Malaysia. The ‘Back4good’ amnesty scheme became operational on August 1, 2019 to facilitate illegal immigrants to return their respective countries without facing any detention, fines, or blacklisting.
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Bukhari said Pakistan’s High Commission in Kuala Lumpur made extensive efforts to facilitate some 8,190 Pakistani illegal immigrants to avail the scheme.
“So far more than 8,000 of such Pakistanis have arrived. Around 200 Pakistanis are expected to reach Islamabad on Tuesday (December, 31) for which special arrangements including charted flight (PK-9894) have been finalised,” he added.
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The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development had advised Pakistani illegal immigrants in Malaysia to make prior arrangements of their tickets so that they could properly utilise the scheme before its expiry date on December 31, 2019.
Each illegal immigrant has to pay 700 Malaysian Ringgits to get a pass from the immigration authorities in Malaysia. These payments were facilitated by the Pakistani mission and philanthropists based in Malaysia.
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The High Commission had issued General Emergency Passports to 1,480 Pakistani illegal immigrants and over 350 Gratis Emergency Passports to Pakistani prisoners during the last five months. The government has also made arrangements for additional flights to Kuala Lumpur ensure their timely repatriation.
There are around 8200 Pakistanis living across Malaysia legally and there was still a unspecified number of Pakistanis residing illegally. It may be mentioned that around 300 Pakistani detainees were repatriated from Malaysia in May 2019 by the government after providing financial and technical assistance.