Pakistan’s Supreme Court affirms commitment to UN conventions amidst deportation challenge

The Supreme Court of Pakistan underscored its commitment to United Nations conventions safeguarding refugee rights, asserting that Islamabad is bound by these agreements for the protection of refugees, according to remarks made during a hearing on a petition challenging the decision to deport undocumented Afghan nationals.

Justice Ayesha Malik, a Pakistani jurist, highlighted the country’s obligation as a signatory to UN conventions aimed at protecting refugees.

The comments were made in response to a legal challenge against the Pakistan caretaker government’s decision to deport undocumented Afghan nationals.

In November, the government initiated a nationwide drive to expel illegal foreign nationals, predominantly Afghans. Despite facing criticism, Pakistani Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar ul Haq Kakar remained steadfast, asserting that the action targeted no specific ethnic group.

This development unfolds as hundreds of thousands of Afghan nationals have already returned home since the announcement of the deportation decision. Estimates suggest that out of the over four million Afghans in Pakistan, around 1.7 million lack proper documentation.

Pakistani media reported that over 370,000 Afghans have been expelled from Pakistan since October 1.