It’s intended to scapegoat illegal immigrants for Pakistan’s cascading crises together with manipulating domestic and international perceptions ahead of the next elections, all at the risk of provoking a crisis with the Taliban that could destabilize the region.
Pakistan gave the estimated 1.7 million Afghans illegally living in its territory until the first of next month to leave otherwise they’ll face deportation. International media also referenced state-run news agency APP’s report citing unnamed government sources who claimed that there’ll supposedly be two more forthcoming phases in this campaign. According to them, those Afghans with proof of residency and dual citizenship will eventually be expelled too, though this plan hasn’t been officially confirmed.
The following three analyses set the context within which this crackdown is occurring:
The insight therein will now be summarized for the reader’s convenience.
Pakistan’s fascist post-modern coup regime that came to power after former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s scandalous ouster in April 2022 exacerbated their country’s security dilemma with the Taliban. Terrorist attacks from the Afghan-based TTP terrorist group spiked in parallel with the regime de facto imposing a state of martial law that was tacitly accepted by its Western patrons. Both international and domestic security dimensions of Pakistan’s cascading crises have immensely worsened in recent months.
Considering this background, while Pakistan’s impending illegal immigrant crackdown is long overdue, there are reasons to believe that there are ulterior motives behind its timing. It arguably appears to be driven by the regime’s desire to scapegoat illegal immigrants for the country’s economic, financial, and security crises, all of which actually stem from last spring’s post-modern coup. Moreover, it’ll predictably provoke further tensions with the Taliban, which could lead to the regime requesting more US aid.
The reality is that Pakistan’s cascading crises can’t be sustainably resolved without truly free and fair elections, though the regime fears holding them since it knows that the ousted and now-imprisoned former premier’s PTI opposition party would win in a landslide. That outcome could lead to the post-modern coup plotters within its powerful military and intelligence institutions being held to account for sacrificing national interests in support of personal and foreign ones.
Accordingly, elite elements within these two institutions that are collectively referred to as “The Establishment” have conspired to keep the PTI out of power, to which end they’ve arrested its leader on trumped-up political charges and intimidated its members through a wide variety of thuggish means. PMLN head honcho Nawaz Sharif’s planned return to Pakistan later this month is almost certainly part of The Establishment’s plans to manipulate next year’s elections in his favor as their newest puppet.
This figure previously fell out with them over the years but has since returned to their good graces after his brother Shehbaz Sharif colluded with them to oust Imran Khan last spring and then served as the head of The Establishment’s puppet government till recently. The quid pro quo for the PMLN’s compliance with this regime change plot was that his brother would be allowed to return to Pakistan at a later date and returned to power with their support provided that he too agrees to do their bidding.
With these domestic political calculations in mind, Pakistan’s impending crackdown on illegal immigrants appears to be partially aimed at manufacturing the false “populist” pretext upon which the regime can later claim to the rest of the world that the PMLN won the next elections. As was earlier written, this move is long overdue for a variety of reasons, including those connected to security. Nevertheless, it’s finally being undertaken at this particular point in time to manipulate perceptions about the elections.
There’s an international dimension to this as well regarding the likelihood that it’ll provoke further tensions with the Taliban. The aforementioned prediction is predicated on the group’s nationalist appeal, which means that it’s expected to oppose the expulsion of any Afghans from Pakistan in principle, to say nothing of possibly kicking out those with proof of residency and dual citizenship. Additionally, this large-scale influx back into that war-torn country could destabilize it even more than it already is.
Any serious deterioration of Pakistani-Taliban ties, especially in the event that this corresponds with an uptick in Afghan-based TTP terrorist attacks, could quickly spiral into a regional security crisis. In that scenario, the fascist post-modern coup regime can try to rally the country behind it on artificially manufactured patriotic grounds ahead of the next elections. At the same time, it can also seek to procure more US aid on this basis, which enriching themselves and expanding America’s influence.
To wrap it all up, this long-overdue move is being undertaken for ulterior motives related to the regime’s self-interested goals, not in pursuit of objective national interests even some part of the security dimension thereof will still be served by this. Rather, it’s intended to scapegoat illegal immigrants for Pakistan’s cascading crises together with manipulating domestic and international perceptions ahead of the next elections, all at the risk of provoking a crisis with the Taliban that could destabilize the region.