Pakistan has ordered 1.7 million Afghans it says are living in the country irregularly to leave by November 1 or be deported.
A series of holding centres are being established across the country in preparation for the deadline on Wednesday, in what rights groups and lawyers say is an unprecedented crackdown.
Millions of Afghans have crossed the border during decades of conflict, making Pakistan the host of one of the world’s largest refugee populations.
But relations have steadily soured between the two neighbours since the Taliban government seized power in August 2021.
Hundreds of thousands of Afghans are estimated to have crossed the border since then.
Pakistan has said the deportations are to protect the “welfare and security” of the country, where anti-Afghan sentiment has been growing amid prolonged economic hardship and a rise in cross-border fighting.
The Afghan embassy in Islamabad has branded Pakistan’s decision as “harassment”.