Human Rights/Free Speech/Media
Some Pakistani civil society activists demand Pakistan to stop forceful deportation of Afghanistan refugees

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 22 Nov 2023, 05:51 am Print

Some Pakistani civil society activists demand Pakistan to stop forceful deportation of Afghanistan refugees Pakistan

A border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan. (file). Photo Courtesy: UNOCHA/Shahrokh Pazhman

Some civil society activists are demanding Pakistan stop the forceful deportation of Afghan refugees from the south Asian nation.

These protesters said that law enforcement agencies in Pakistan are persecuting Afghan refugees, reported Tolo News.

Some members of the civil society, lawyers and legal and political activists of Pakistan started a rally and demanded to stop the arrests and forced deportations of Afghan refugees from Pakistan, the news agency reported.

The Joint Action Committee for refugees, which is one of the organizers of this protest, said in a newsletter that after Pakistan's decision to deport illegal refugees, Afghan refugees were harassed by the police and other law enforcement agencies.

"They have asked Pakistan to stop the process of refugees being forcibly deported from here and to allow them to stay legally," Sediq Kakar, an advocate in Pakistan, told Tolo News.

The Talian administrators of Afghanistan claimed they had taken all necessary steps to deal with the situation.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the main spokesman for Afghanistan's Taliban administration, was quoted as saying by Tolo News: "The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan considers it its duty to resettle the refugees who return to their homeland and cooperate if we have the facilities and we are sure that the returnee refugees are more than 400,000."

Some returnees from Pakistan complained about the bad behaviour of soldiers of the neighbouring nation.

"They destroyed our house, we had our own house. The Pakistani police forcibly dragged us and said that we will deport you and you have no right to stay in our country," Mazuddin, a returnee, told Tolo News.

The UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) and humanitarian partners are providing critical aid at border crossing points between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the face of a surge in forced returns of Afghan nationals.

According to IOM, in the past two months alone, nearly 375,000 Afghans left Pakistan, primarily utilizing the Torkham and Spin Boldak border crossings, near Kabul and Kandahar, respectively.

The number of daily border crossings has skyrocketed from 200 to a staggering 17,000, creating an unprecedented strain on resources and infrastructure.

Desperate situation

“Their situation is desperate; most people told us they were forced to leave the country and leave belongings and savings behind,” said Maria Moita, IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission.

“People arriving in Afghanistan are extremely vulnerable and need immediate support at the border as well as for the long term in the areas of return,” she added.

The crisis has unfolded following Pakistan’s implementation of the “Illegal Foreigners’ Repatriation Plan,” which set a 1 November deadline for the “voluntary return” of all undocumented Afghans in Pakistan to their home country.