Pakistan asks Afghan nationals to leave Bajaur tribal area

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Islamabad, Oct 4 (UNI) Pakistan has asked all Afghan nationals to leave Bajaur tribal region within three days as 25 rebels were killed in an ongoing operation in the restive area since Thursday.

A notification (official order) issued by a top official in Khar, the administrative centre of Bajaur and announcements made from mosques, warned the Afghans that they would face action if they did not leave the area within three days.

Local people have also been asked to end business contracts with the Afghans and those who had rented out houses and shops to them were asked to evict them.

Officials said over 50,000 Afghans were living in Bajaur illegally and many of them had set up businesses. Refugee camps in the area were closed in 2005.

A military operation, which was launched in the area in early August, has killed more than 900 people, most of them militants, and displaced over 3,00,000 families.

An official said the decision had been taken because of deteriorating law and order and complaints by local people about involvement of Afghans in militancy.

''There are reports that Afghans are directly involved in militancy and they have joined militant groups,'' they said.

The top official, also called political agent, said in his latest order that the government would take legal action against the Afghans and local people defying the order and the deadline would not be extended.

There have been reports that militants from Afghanistan were infiltrating into Bajaur and taking part in clashes with security forces.


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