The largest expulsion of illegal immigrants in history begins

Exactly one week ago, Pakistan began the mass expulsion of 1.7 million undocumented immigrants from Afghanistan. According to the plan that the Islamabad government approved on October 4, the deportation will be carried out in different phases: first, Afghans who have not returned on their own will be interned in temporary centers, and then they will be escorted to the border. They will enter an Afghanistan very different from the one they left, since the vast majority fled before the Taliban took control of the country, in 2021. What’s more, their advance in the face of the humiliating withdrawal of US troops led to some 600,000 citizens They decided to escape.

In this way, women and girls who abandoned a country where they could study and work will now be forced to live in the confines of a burqa and under the guardianship of a man, and, although Pakistan is not exactly the most developed country , the men will be returned to one of the poorest states in the world, where 15 million people have difficulty even feeding themselves. And they will arrive with hardly any capacity to carve out a future for themselves in a land where they have nothing.

Therefore, although international information is now dominated by the wars in Gaza and Ukraine, today we approach this drama so that it goes less unnoticed.

These are the three topics we will address today:

  • Pakistan begins to deport more than a million and a half Afghans

  • Russia increases nuclear tension

  • Germany will speed up immigrant deportations

  1. Migrations

    Pakistan begins to deport more than a million and a half Afghans

It all started with several suicide attacks in which the Pakistani government claims that Afghan citizens participated, although it has not presented any evidence to certify this. The country, burdened by hyperinflation that was destroying its economy, then determined that four million Afghans were too many for its territory. So, its leaders, worried about next year’s elections, decided to cut corners and expel all those who have not regularized their situation in Pakistan. According to the latest data, there are no less than 1.7 million, and some have been in the country since the war with the Soviets. That is, since 1979.

Afghans with the house on their backs in Pakistan.

Afghans with the house on their backs in Pakistan.

EFE


As if that were not enough, almost a million and a half more have had the registration card with which they have resided in the country expired this year, and, although the Government has promised that this will have no effect on its holders, tension is growing and Cases of police harassment and extortion against them are multiplying. They are especially vulnerable to the latter, since corruption is the order of the day.

These measures have meant that, since their announcement, the number of Afghans returning to their country of their own free will before the October 31 ultimatum has set a record. However, they number only 200,000 and, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency, 78% have done so for fear of being arrested. There is no shortage of reason for their fear, because the Authorities have even ordered the demolition of homes where illegal immigrants resided. “It is a humanitarian catastrophe,” says UNHCR.

Women will be the main victims of the mass deportation of immigrants.

EFE/Reuters

Main image - Women will be the main victims of the mass deportation of immigrants.

Secondary image 1 - Women will be the main victims of the mass deportation of immigrants.

Secondary image 2 - Women will be the main victims of the mass deportation of immigrants.

On the other side of the border, a good reception does not await them. Human rights groups point out that many have sought asylum in Pakistan because they had good reasons to flee the Taliban – for example, having collaborated with the previous government – and those most critical of the measure claim that it is unconstitutional and that Afghans are being used as a scapegoat to cover up the inability of politicians to solve the problems that afflict the country, from economic problems to the increase in crime.

For now, the Taliban have promised to establish temporary camps to provide shelter to compatriots who cannot find one and find work for them. It will be difficult, because unemployment has doubled since the Islamic fundamentalists came to power, and this year it could reach 20%. It is a situation in which this mass deportation means, for more than one and a half million people, a sentence to live in poverty and, in the most extreme cases, to prison terms for collaboration or political activism. Furthermore, it is ironic that countries like Pakistan, often very critical of the West’s treatment of its migrants, end up behaving in this way towards those they have within their borders. Cultural and religious closeness in these cases are indifferent in this double standard of measurement.

  1. Nuclear proliferation

    Russia increases nuclear tension

At a time when some Israeli politicians propose dropping an atomic bomb on Gaza, and with the invasion of Ukraine bogged down waiting for some technology to tip the balance on one side or the other, Russia has decided to revoke the ratification of the treaty that prohibits nuclear weapons testing, signed in 1996. It is one more step in the dismantling of the rules that restrict the proliferation of the deadliest weapons, born from a resounding certainty: mutual destruction is assured. “No one can emerge victorious from a nuclear war and, therefore, it should not occur.”

A French atomic test at Mururoa.

A French atomic test at Mururoa.

AP


Vladimir Putin’s decision is more symbolic than practical, but it does reflect a regression in the consensus that existed around nuclear weapons and represents yet another rise in the veiled threats made around its use. Russia itself claims that it has developed a new nuclear-capable cruise missile, North Korea has already confirmed that it has its own, and China watches from the sidelines as Washington and Moscow accuse each other while it steadily increases its nuclear arsenal. . According to the US Department of Defense, the Asian giant already stores 500 heads, a number that, according to its estimates, will triple by 2035.

Model of the most powerful bomb in the world, the Tsar's Russian one.

Model of the most powerful bomb in the world, the Tsar’s Russian one.

AFP


Thus, the ‘doomsday clock’ that different experts set every year to warn about the possibility of a nuclear holocaust, is 90 seconds away from striking midnight, the moment of greatest danger it has ever marked. And the last review was done before the outbreak of the war between Israel and Hamas. At the beginning of the year, the ‘watchmakers’ pointed out the possibility of Russia materializing its atomic threats and the danger of the battle next to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as the main threats, but we must not take the United States out of the fear equation, which It has also turned its back on arms treaties it had signed. Furthermore, next year it could end up again in the hands of Donald Trump.

The possibility of a new arms race in the nuclear field is increasingly closer, showing that no one learns from someone else’s head. No matter how much world leaders visit the atomic bomb museums in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that remind us of the horror caused by the only two launched against the civilian population, the belief that only a powerful arsenal is enough of a deterrent so that enemies do not press the button. Red continues to drive an attitude that moves the hands of the clock towards the hour of the apocalypse.

  1. International Trade

    Alarm over the fall in Chinese exports

It is evident that, since the end of the pandemic, the Chinese economy is not going through its best moment. The forecasts that pointed to a strong rebound for the second world power have not materialized: on the one hand, because demand in the rest of the world has been depressed, largely due to the inflation epidemic that depresses consumption; and, on the other hand, because domestic structural problems have worsened and Chinese domestic consumption itself is not capable of balancing the balance, also weighed down by declining confidence and problems in key sectors, such as construction.

Chinese excavators waiting to be shipped in Shandong province.

Chinese excavators waiting to be shipped in Shandong province.

AFP


The last variable that has set off alarm bells has been exports, which fell again in October. Specifically, 6.4% in annualized rate. And they have been in the red for six months in a row. These are bad data that, according to experts’ predictions, will continue until the start of 2024. But they are not produced just because the world buys less. They may also reflect the impact of the diversification strategy that many companies have adopted.

Maybe we have learned something from the pandemic. Although it is obvious: not to put all your eggs in the same basket. In reality, many companies had already begun to take part of their production to other countries, especially because China is increasingly expensive. But covid, and above all the headaches caused by the Communist Party’s control strategy, has been the last straw. Therefore, perhaps in the not too distant future we will see less ‘made in China’ in products from foreign multinationals and more in brands from the Far East that are making their way among us. They did it with mobile phones, and now they are trying it with the electric car.

Is all for today. I hope I have explained well some of what is happening out there. If you are signed up, you will receive this newsletter every Wednesday in your email. And, if you like it, it will be very helpful if you share it and recommend it to your friends.

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