Pakistan’s Plan to Expel Illegal Afghan Migrants Alarms UN

Islamabad – Pakistan’s caretaker International Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani confirmed Thursday that his authorities has determined to drive out all Afghans and different overseas nationals dwelling unlawfully within the nation.

The transfer will probably have an effect on about 1 million Afghans, together with those that took refuge within the nation after the hard-line Taliban swept again to energy in neighboring Afghanistan two years in the past.

The United Nations is alarmed by the plan as a result of it may have an effect on Afghans in want of worldwide safety. Their lives or freedom could be in peril in the event that they had been forcefully repatriated, a U.N. official cautioned in background discussions with VOA.

‘The brand new coverage authorized by the cupboard doesn’t pertain solely to Afghans; it’s about all these folks from completely different international locations who’re illegally residing in Pakistan,’ Jilani advised a information convention in Islamabad.

He defined that formally registered Afghan refugees and people dwelling lawfully wouldn’t be requested to depart Pakistan. ‘However those that have come right here illegally, whether or not Afghans or nationals of any nation, must return to their respective international locations. We are going to strictly implement the coverage.’

The spokesperson for the U.N. Excessive Commissioner for Refugees in Islamabad advised VOA that his company was ‘in search of readability’ from Pakistani counterparts in regards to the new coverage.

Qaiser Khan Afridi famous that Pakistan’s position as a ‘beneficiant refugee host for many years’ has been acknowledged globally, however extra must be achieved to match this generosity. ‘Any refugee return have to be voluntary, with none strain to make sure safety for these in search of security,’ he stated.

‘UNHCR stands able to help Pakistan in creating a mechanism to handle and register folks in want of worldwide safety on its territory and reply to explicit vulnerabilities,’ Afridi added.

Till the Taliban returned to energy in August 2021, Pakistan formally hosted practically 2.7 million Afghans. That included 1.3 million registered refugees and 880,000 formally documented financial migrants; the remaining had been declared illegal migrants.

The Taliban takeover of Kabul triggered a recent inflow of refugees, bringing greater than 700,000 Afghans to Pakistan.

An estimated 200,000 have since flown to the USA and European international locations underneath particular resettlement packages for his or her providers to U.S.-led worldwide coalition forces, which all chaotically withdrew two years in the past after virtually twenty years of presence in Afghanistan.

Many of the remaining Afghans have both crossed the border into Pakistan unlawfully, or their visas have expired, in keeping with Pakistani officers.

The Taliban have imposed their strict interpretation of Islamic regulation in Afghanistan since regaining energy, putting sweeping restrictions on girls.

Women aren’t allowed to obtain a secondary college or college training. Most feminine authorities staff have been ordered to remain residence, and feminine support employees are forbidden from becoming a member of humanitarian teams. Ladies can’t go to public locations, comparable to parks, gyms and bathhouses, and enterprise lengthy highway journeys requires the presence of a male guardian.

The restrictions on girls are a major deterrent for Afghans sheltering in Pakistan – notably girls and ladies – from returning to their homeland, in keeping with displaced relations.