As Pakistan’s Deadline For Illegal Foreigners Closes In, Afghans Make Their Way To Taliban Rule

As Pakistan’s November 1 deadline for the expulsion of undocumented migrants looms, there has been a surge in the returns of Afghans, with thousands making their way across the border to the Taliban-ruled nation. The move has sparked a mass exodus, tearing families apart and raising concerns about human rights violations, reported news agency Reuters.

Taliban Confirms 60,000 Afghans Have Returned

The Taliban government in Afghanistan revealed that around 60,000 Afghans returned between September 23 and October 22 Pakistan, following the announcement of the expulsion plan. Daily returnee figures, according to Taliban refugee ministry spokesman Abdul Mutaleb Haqani, have experienced a threefold increase, indicating a significant impact on the affected population, Reuters reported.

Pakistan Denies Violation Of Any Norm

Pakistan has said that the move is in compliance with international norms. However, migrant communities are grappling with the harsh reality of leaving the only home many of them have known for a long time. In Sohrab Goth, home to one of Pakistan’s largest Afghan settlements, bus operators are witnessing a surge in demand as families make the difficult journey back to Afghanistan.

UN Warns Of ‘Human Rights Catastrophe’

Despite warnings from UN agencies, Pakistan remains steadfast in its decision to expel over a million undocumented Afghans, emphasizing the enforcement of sovereign domestic laws. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expresses deep concern, cautioning that the forced return of 1.7 million people poses grave risks of rights violations, including torture, arbitrary arrest, and discrimination, reported Times of India.

Even Afghans with proper documentation find themselves affected, with the UNHCR reporting a notable increase in documented Afghans leaving Pakistan. The agency notes that 78% of recent returning Afghans cited fear of arrest in Pakistan as a reason for their departure, raising further concerns about the protection and well-being of vulnerable populations.

Pakistan is currently grappling with economic challenges, including record inflation and a tough IMF bailout programme. The government has cited the strain on resources caused by undocumented migrants as a key factor behind the expulsion plan. However, critics argue that the move exacerbates tensions and creates a precarious situation for vulnerable individuals, particularly women and girls forced to leave, as highlighted by the UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration, the TOI report stated.

In the midst of this complex scenario, families face a difficult choice between leaving their established lives in Pakistan or facing the uncertainties of returning to an Afghanistan that is grappling with limited resources and a challenging economic landscape.

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ABP News Bureau

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