There are around two million Bengali and Burmese migrants in Pakistan
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Sunday to offer Pakistani citizenship to hundreds of thousands of Bengalis born to refugee families his country, according to Pakistani media outlets.
During a fundraising event for dam construction in Karachi Khan has announced that his government will issue national identity cards and passports to immigrants from Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The prime minister 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 added.
Pakistan has the largest refugee population in the world. The United Nations refugee agency and local officials said that there are 2.7 million Afghans, including 1.5 million registered as refugees, in Pakistan.
According to Pakistani media outlets and local sources, 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 They either do not possess ID cards or their cards have been revoked on suspicion of being illegal immigrants.