Watchdog asks Pakistan to ‘immediately reversal’ decision on deporting Afghan migrants

As Pakistan’s 1 November 2023 deadline approaches for the deportation of unregistered Afghan refugees, Amnesty International pressed Pakistan on Monday to rethink the move.

Amnesty International’s Senior Director, Deprose Muchena, said that Pakistan has international legal responsibilities, including the principle of non-refoulement and that “it’s crucial to end the crackdown and harassment of Afghan refugees.”

Muchena also appealed to the global community to financially back Pakistan in its hosting of Afghan refugees and to collaborate in ensuring protection for those escaping persecution in Afghanistan.

Highlighting the urgent situation, Muchena noted, “Over 1.4 million refugees risk being displaced from their established homes. Pakistan has a window today to prevent a looming crisis where families could face homelessness, lack access to jobs and essential services, and endure separations just before the winter.”

Amnesty International emphasized the impending jeopardy for Afghan refugees, pointing to a joint lapse by both Pakistan and the international community in safeguarding their rights and well-being.

This comes as thousands of Afghan migrants have been deported to Afghanistan from Pakistan on a daily basis over the past few days.

Footage seen by Amu on social media shows dozens of trailer trucks carrying Afghan migrants who return to the country through the Torkham crossing.

Amnesty International said in a statement on Tuesday that it has previously documented the harassment meted out to Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

In the last 12 months, Amnesty has also sent correspondence to the Pakistani government to raise concerns regarding the delays in registration, harassment and discrimination faced by Afghan refugees in the country, the organization said.

Amnesty International says that last week it wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan urging him to reverse its decision to forcibly return Afghan refugees to Afghanistan.