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Wednesday, July 24, 2024  
18 Muharram 1446  

UN agencies offer support for Afghan nationals’ registration in Pakistan

Acknowledge govt's prerogative over domestic policies, public safety and security
Afghan refugees wait at the registration centre in the Pakistani city of Peshawar on June 23, 2016. (AFP/File)
Afghan refugees wait at the registration centre in the Pakistani city of Peshawar on June 23, 2016. (AFP/File)

The UN Migration Agency has offered to provide support to Pakistan in developing a comprehensive and sustainable mechanism to register and manage Afghan nationals, including those who may be in need of international protection.

“The UN Migration Agency and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency are appealing to Pakistan to continue its protection of all vulnerable Afghans who have sought safety in the country and could be at imminent risk if forced to return,” a joint statement said on Saturday.

IOM and UNHCR appeal came after Pakistan initiated a countrywide action to expel illegal immigrants back to their countries.

The UN agencies went on to add that Afghanistan was going through a severe humanitarian crisis with several human rights challenges, particularly for women and girls.

Such plans would have serious implications for all who have been forced to leave the country and may face serious protection risks upon return, they added.

IOM and UNHCR acknowledged the government’s sovereign prerogative over domestic policies, its need to manage populations on its territory, and its obligations to ensure public safety and security.

Read: Interim FM Jilani defends decision to evict Afghans

The rights agencies appreciated Pakistan’s generous hospitality towards Afghan nationals for over four decades, despite challenges, and repeated the call for all returns to be voluntary, safe, and dignified - without any pressure, to ensure protection for those seeking safety.

However, they said that the forced repatriation of Afghan nationals has the potential to result in severe human rights violations, including the separation of families and the deportation of minors.

IOM and UNHCR urged all countries to suspend forcible returns of Afghan nationals and ensure any possible returns to the country take place in a safe, dignified, and voluntary manner.

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United Nations

Afghan refugees

Pakistan Afghanistan relations

Afghan nationals expulsion