Over 200 Afghan families deported by Pakistan, Iran

At least 233 Afghan families residing in Pakistan and Iran were deported back to Afghanistan on Friday, according to the Taliban-run Bakhtar News Agency. The report indicated that 97 families entered Afghanistan through the Torkham, Dand-e Patan, and Spin Boldak border crossings from Pakistan, while 136 families returned from Iran through the Nimroz and Islam Qala crossings in Herat.

Efforts to deport Afghan refugees have intensified in both Pakistan and Iran.

Some of the returnees shared their hardships during their stay in Iran and expressed dissatisfaction with returning to Afghanistan due to a lack of job opportunities. “The behavior of the Iranian police towards us was very bad, and they forced us to leave. We didn’t have access to enough food for three nights. Now that we have returned to the country, we are concerned about the lack of jobs,” said Khaliq, a returnee.

Analysts have criticized the treatment of Afghan refugees by Iran and Pakistan as unjust. “The forced deportation of migrants by neighboring countries poses major economic and social challenges for returnees, and the continuation of this trend, amid the lack of a structured plan by the Taliban, will be dangerous for the country,” stated Ali Reza Karimi, a refugee analyst.

“The Taliban has no plans for managing the socio-economic conditions of families returning to Afghanistan. The return of migrants to the country exacerbates poverty and unemployment, and the already fragile Afghan economy will be further affected,” said Hadi Hafezi, an economist.

Over the past two and a half years, hundreds of thousands of Afghans have fled to neighboring countries due to threats from the Taliban and economic instability.