Inappropriate expulsion of Afghan refugees from Pakistan impacting over 1.4 mn: UN

Taliban Afghanistan

The United Nations stated that the inappropriate expulsion of Afghan refugees from Pakistan is impacting over 1.4 million Afghans without residence permits, Afghanistan-based Khaama Press reported.

Many people are at risk of human rights violations due to this action, according to the UN. On Friday, the United Nations announced that more than two million Afghans without documentation are living in Pakistan, with at least 600,000 of them leaving Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power on August 15, 2021.

The Pakistani government has asked Afghan migrants living without residency documents to leave the country until the end of October, or they will be detained and expelled.

According to the United Nations, human rights defenders, civil society activists, journalists, former government officials, and members of the security forces are at risk of human rights violations, according to Khaama Press report.

The United Nations has expressed concern about the consequences of expelling Afghan migrants. It stated that many of them, if expelled, would face human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, torture, and other inhumane treatment by the Taliban.

The UN stressed that women and girls have been deprived of secondary and higher education and other aspects of social life due to the “abhorrent policies of the Taliban” in Afghanistan and will also face human rights violations if they are sent back, according to Khaama Press report.

Recently, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration said that nearly 60,000 Afghans have left Pakistan since the Pakistan government gave the deadline. According to this report, 78 per cent of those coming back to Afghanistan have cited fear of arrest as the reason for leaving Pakistan.

On Thursday, the UK carried out a charter flight to take 200 Afghan refugees from Pakistan who were promised asylum in Britain. Approximately 3,250 Afghan refugees, including women and children, are still awaiting relocation to the UK from Pakistan and the British government plans to use charter planes to move them by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the Taliban-led Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation of Afghanistan has said that more than 5,000 Afghan migrants have returned to their country from Pakistan and Iran, Afghanistan-based Khaama Press reported.

The Taliban-led ministry on Thursday announced that approximately 5,179 immigrants from Pakistan and Iran came back to Afghanistan. According to the Taliban-appointed border official in Islam Qala Herat, among these migrants, 3591 people, including families have arrived in Afghanistan, forcibly and voluntarily.

In addition, the Taliban-led ministry said that approximately 1,585 Afghan migrants returned to Afghanistan forcibly through the Spin Boldak border from Pakistan on Wednesday. Some migrants identified as vulnerable who require assistance were referred to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for aid.

Many Afghan migrants in Pakistan and Iran have been detained due to the lack of legal residency documents and are often repatriated to Afghanistan. Pakistan and Iran continue to deport Afghan migrants despite repeated calls from the United Nations and some Western nations to stop deporting Afghan migrants, according to a Khaama Press report. 

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