The European Union is gearing up to make space for the influx of refugees from Syria by speeding up the deportation of illegal Pakistani migrants in its 28 member countries, a report said.
The region is struggling to cope with the arrival of about 7.6 lakh refugees in 2015 from various countries in the Middle East and South Asia that are affected by militancy.
During his visit to Islamabad, Dimitris Avramopoulos, who is the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, pointed out that Pakistan is largely stable under the Nawaz Sharif regime and hence asylum should be provided for refugees from Syria and Afghanistan whose requests are more legitimate, reported The Washington Post.
"Pakistanis will not qualify as political refugees," the leading US daily quoted Avramopoulos as saying. "Pakistan is under a democratic process... It is not a country where its citizens are persecuted, and great progress has been done by authorities in Pakistan in order to pave a democratic perspective for their country."
Though about 168,000 illegal Pakistani migrants were asked to leave the European Union during 2008-14, only 55,750 left due to red-tapism and lack of enough flights.
However, the move will not affect legal migrants from Pakistan, the report added.