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Saturday, July 13, 2024  
07 Muharram 1446  

HRCP says appalled over reports of Afghan nationals eviction from homes

Calls for expediting Afghan refugees’ registration to protect their rights
Afghan refugees board a bus from Karachi, Pakistan, to Afghanistan on Sept. 21, 2023 - AFP/File
Afghan refugees board a bus from Karachi, Pakistan, to Afghanistan on Sept. 21, 2023 - AFP/File

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has said that it is appalled by reports of Afghan nationals being evicted from their homes and that their settlements are being razed by the government in Islamabad.

“This is blatantly xenophobic and must cease. The government must understand that the forcible deportation of vulnerable Afghans is neither sound nor practical: it will put many of them at risk in their home country and is likely to separate families, including women and children,” a post by HRCP read on X.

It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan has set a deadline of November 1 for illegal foreign nationals residing in Pakistan to leave the country, as part of the government’s crackdown on illegal immigrants.

Read: Afghanistan to set up welcome camp for refugees deported from Pakistan

The rights organisation added that repatriation of the refugees should only be voluntary and ensure that the rights of the most vulnerable are protected, including the right to shelter, healthcare, and legal counsel.

“Pakistan would be better served if it were to expedite the registration of refugees and legislate to protect their rights as residents,” it stated.

The statement came hours after the UN Migration Agency 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.

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

Pakistan has been a refuge for people fleeing from war in Afghanistan since the 1970s. Some 1.73 million Afghans in Pakistan have no legal documents, out of the total 4.4 million Afghan refugees.

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Afghan refugees

Pakistan Afghanistan relations

illegal immigrants

Afghan nationals expulsion