Afghan migrants in Pakistan fear deportation risk

Afghan migrants in Pakistan express concerns over Islamabad’s plans to initiate a second round of forced deportations, fearing for their safety upon return to Afghanistan.

Human rights activists have criticized Pakistan’s deportation approach as contrary to human rights standards, calling on the new Pakistani government to revise its policies.

Tayeba Siddiqui, an Afghan migrant in Pakistan, shared her fears, stating she fled Afghanistan due to Taliban threats. “The second round of forced deportation of undocumented migrants is imminent. This will undoubtedly pose serious concerns,” Siddiqui noted.

Journalists living in exile in Pakistan also highlighted the mistreatment of Afghan refugees by Pakistani forces. Zahir Bhand, a journalist, anticipates a significant police operation targeting Afghan refugees for deportation within the next two weeks.

Refugee rights advocates urge Pakistan to adhere to international norms during the deportation process. Abdul Razaq, a refugee rights advocate, pointed out the challenges faced by illegal Afghan immigrants in Pakistan, including limited access to basic services, discrimination, and deportation threats.

Over 300 human rights activists, academics, and legal professionals have condemned Pakistan’s decision to resume Afghan refugee deportations.

Meanwhile, the International Organization for Migration reported that over 7,000 refugees returned to Afghanistan through various border crossings from March 16 to 31, 2024. The Taliban’s Ministry of Refugees also mentioned that 160 Afghan families returned from Pakistan and Iran on Friday, using crossings such as Torkham, Spin Boldak, Islam Qala, and Nimroz.