Taliban says Pakistan has deported over 535,000 Afghan migrants since last November

A group of Afghan migrants in border near Pakistan. November 2023. File Photo.

The Taliban’s Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation has reported that Pakistan has deported more than 535,562 Afghan migrants since initiating the deportation process last November.

According to the ministry, these refugees constitute 92,286 families, primarily re-entering Afghanistan through the Torkham gate in Nangarhar and the Spin Boldak crossing in Kandahar.

An official from the migrant affairs department in Nangarhar noted that 70% of these refugees have been processed.

Amidst Pakistan’s plans to deport documented Afghan refugees, the ministry has called on aid organizations to enhance their efforts in addressing the challenges faced by these individuals.

In a related development, Amnesty International on Thursday pressed the Pakistani government to consider international pleas to cease the unlawful deportation of Afghan refugees.

James Jennion, a campaigner for refugee and migrants’ rights at Amnesty International, voiced concern over the Pakistani government’s expedited deportation plans post-Eid al-Fitr.

“The Pakistani authorities’ indifference to the grim futures Afghan refugees could face upon deportation to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan is profoundly troubling,” Jennion remarked.

He underscored the risks to over 800,000 Afghan refugees in Pakistan, including the likelihood of increased harassment and detentions.