Afghan Migrants in Pakistan Face Attacks, Arrests, and Deportation, Human Rights Group Warns

Afghan migrants in Pakistan face dire threats, including armed attacks, arrests, and deportation. The International Federation of Human Rights Defenders calls for urgent international intervention to prevent a "humanitarian disaster" for this vulnerable population.

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Rizwan Shah
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Afghan Migrants in Pakistan Face Attacks, Arrests, and Deportation, Human Rights Group Warns

Afghan Migrants in Pakistan Face Attacks, Arrests, and Deportation, Human Rights Group Warns

The International Federation of Human Rights Defenders in Exile has raised alarm over the dire situation faced by Afghan migrants in Pakistan, who are being subjected to armed attacks, arrests, disappearances, and deportation. The human rights organization is calling for urgent international intervention to address what it describes as an impending "humanitarian disaster" for the vulnerable migrant population.

According to Samiullah Azizi, a representative of the federation, Afghan migrants in Pakistan are living in fear due to a range of serious threats to their safety and well-being. "Afghan migrants are facing armed attacks, arrests, disappearances, and deportation, which has instilled fear among them," Azizi stated. He highlighted specific issues including targeted killings, harassment by Pakistani police, a spate of suicides, and the kidnapping of former Kabul Bank employees.

The migrants are demanding an immediate halt to deportations and the establishment of a mechanism to alleviate their distress. "The situation is described as worrying, with Afghan migrants facing armed attacks, abductions, and arrests, and being unable to move freely around the city and markets," Azizi said. He noted that the Pakistani government has stated it currently has no plans for migrants holding Afghan Citizenship Cards.

According to the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, the Pakistani government has forcibly deported 837 Afghan refugees to their country through the Torkham and Spin Boldak crossings in the last two days alone. The returnees have been registered with provincial refugee and repatriation departments and are receiving some assistance from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Islamic Emirate government.

The head of the Afghan Migrant Council in Islamabad expressed grave concerns about the situation, warning of a potential humanitarian catastrophe. Many migrants have become victims of armed attacks and abductions, with the recent disappearance of three Afghans being a prime example. A significant portion of the Afghan migrants in Pakistan comprises the country's elite and intellectuals, including human rights defenders, experts, university professors, judges, journalists, and poets, who fled after the collapse of the previous Afghan government.

Why this matters: The plight of Afghan migrants in Pakistan highlights the ongoing challenges and instability in the region following the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan in 2021. The international community's response to this unfolding humanitarian crisis will be a test of its commitment to protecting the rights and well-being of vulnerable populations displaced by conflict and political upheaval.

The International Federation of Human Rights Defenders in Exile is urging the international community to take swift action to protect Afghan migrants in Pakistan and prevent further human rights abuses. "The federation called on the international community to intervene to prevent a humanitarian disaster and address the challenges faced by Afghan migrants in Pakistan," Azizi emphasized. As the situation continues to deteriorate, the world will be watching to see if the international community can come together to provide the necessary support and solutions for this at-risk population.

Key Takeaways

  • Afghan migrants in Pakistan face armed attacks, arrests, disappearances, and deportation.
  • The International Federation of Human Rights Defenders calls for urgent international intervention.
  • Pakistan has forcibly deported 837 Afghan refugees in the last 2 days.
  • The situation threatens a potential humanitarian catastrophe for Afghan migrants in Pakistan.
  • The international community's response will test its commitment to protecting displaced populations.