Washington, Jan 30 (Reuters): The US assured Pakistan there would be no “significant” deportation of illegal Pakistani immigrants under new US security requirements that threatened ties between the two countries, Islamabad’s foreign minister said today.
After talks with key US officials, foreign minister Mian Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri said: “It is my impression that Pakistanis will not be deported in significant numbers.”
“I have been assured that maximum flexibility will be shown to Pakistanis” by American immigration authorities, he told a press conference.
Earlier, Kasuri warned the Bush administration that any mass deportation of illegal Pakistani immigrants under new US security requirements would have a severe impact on relations.
All males over 16 from Pakistan and 24 other countries have to register with the US authorities under a system designed to keep track of foreigners, imposed after the attacks on the US on September 11, 2001.
Some Pakistanis whose papers are not in order have crossed the border to Canada for fear of deportation to Pakistan if and when the authorities catch up with them, media reports say.