Pakistan’s new hotline targets undocumented migrants amid human rights concerns

Pakistan’s interim government has set up a hotline for citizens to report undocumented migrants, a measure aimed at aiding law enforcement in their detection and detention. State-run radio has broadcasted the hotline number 1700, encouraging public cooperation.

Reports indicate that 3,065 undocumented Afghan migrants were deported through Chaman and Torkham border crossings on Friday.

Amnesty International condemned these actions, demanding an immediate stop to detentions, expulsions, and harassment of Afghan migrants. The organization emphasized Pakistan’s obligation to international laws, including the principle of non-refoulement.

Afghan migrant Fariba Hamdard expressed the resulting fear among her community. “Even the sound of police alarms triggers anxiety, worrying us about potential deportation,” she said.

Asma Ghulami, an Afghan child, voiced similar fears. “The sight of police terrifies me. I’m scared they might arrest my family,” she shared.

Simultaneously, protests erupted in Pakistan against the Taliban’s alleged mistreatment of Pakistani workers at the Torkham border. Protesters demand the release of detained Pakistanis and decry the Taliban’s disrespect.

“Our protest is against the Taliban’s oppression. We demand the release of our people,” said Amir Nawaz, a Pakistani national.

Despite these tensions, Pakistani media report a potential six-month extension for registered Afghan migrants, pending approval from the interim cabinet.