No deportations via Torkham as Taliban enforces new verification rules for migrants

In an unprecedented development during the ongoing repatriation of undocumented Afghan migrants from Pakistan, not a single individual was deported through the Torkham crossing on Friday, Nov. 24, Pakistani media reported.

The halt in deportations was attributed to the Taliban’s insistence on verifying the migrants’ status through its consulate-general in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the reports said.

Official sources, as reported by Dawn News, revealed that the deportation condition was implemented due to various factors, notably the influx of Pakistani nationals into Afghanistan masquerading as “Afghan deportees.”

On Nov. 24, Pakistani authorities redirected 1,425 undocumented Afghan migrants through the Chaman crossing. To date, a total of 251,008 Afghans have been repatriated to Afghanistan.

The World Food Program has declared the situation of the deportees as alarming, emphasizing an urgent need for $27.5 million in immediate aid to address the challenges posed by the returning individuals.

Deported migrants recounted leaving behind their businesses in Pakistan, sharing tales of eviction without the opportunity to take any belongings with them.

“I was born in Pakistan, and I have lived here for 40 years, operating a carpentry shop. The police decided to evict us, and I don’t know what to do,” expressed Habibullah, an Afghan deportee.

Having lived in Pakistan for 30 years, Hamzaullah, another deportee, lamented the sudden expulsion. “I wonder what I should do if I go to Afghanistan. I am very sad why they are expelling us from Pakistan,” he said, adding that he sold his shop and household items at half price.

UN figures reveal that since mid-September, over 400,000 undocumented migrants have been deported to Afghanistan. The plight of these individuals has raised concerns, with the international community urged to address the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the region.