Jamiat Ulema Islam (F) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party leader Mahmood Khan Achakzai have condemned Pakistan’s treatment of Afghan refugees.
In a press conference in Peshawar on October 7 Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that other people are living illegally in Pakistan, but why is the government only targeting Pashtuns?
He said that after the expulsion of Afghan refugees, relations between the two countries will deteriorate.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman accused the bureaucracy and police officers of forcibly taking land from Afghan refugees and extorting money from them. “I call on human rights organizations around the world to come to Pakistan and see how Afghan refugees are being treated here and seek for their (Afghan refugees) rights.”
The interim government of Pakistan has not yet said anything about these statements, but it has already emphasized that it was arresting only those who do not have legal documents to live in that country.
Apart from Afghans, Islamabad has also ordered other undocumented people to leave Pakistan by November 1.
Mahmood Khan Achakzai, the leader of the Pakhtunkhwa National Awami Party, called on Pakistan to stop harassing Afghan refugees.
Speaking at a meeting of his party in Quetta on October 7, he said that he would not allow anyone to confiscate the properties of Afghan refugees and force them out of Pakistan.
“It is the law of the world that if someone’s house catches fire, he has the right to go to his neighbour.
If a bad day comes to one country, you [everyone] have the right to go to another country. Mehmood Khan Achakzai also said that Pakistan and Afghanistan should talk to resolve their internal issues and according to him, for this, China should play the role of a third party.
Achakzai has made these statements at a time when, like other parts of Pakistan, the series of arrests of Afghans has started in Balochistan and on October 7, the police have arrested a total of 116 Afghans.
A Quetta police official on the condition of anonymity held that he had gathered information about the 24,000 Afghans living there.
Achakzai has made these statements at a time when, like other parts of Pakistan, the series of arrests of Afghans has started.
Awami National Party and Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leaders and members have held meetings and demonstrations against the arrest of Afghans in Pakistan before Jamiat Ulema Islam and Pakhtunkhwa National Awami parties.
In Pakistan, the series of arrests of Afghans accelerated after that, on September 15, the interim prime minister of Pakistan, Anwar Haq Kakar, said that the illegal Afghans should be expelled from the country.
Karachi Police conducted an operation against Afghans in Karachi in September and arrested around 900 people.
In early October, the police arrested 800 Afghan refugees from Islamabad and Rawalpindi, after which they released 400 Afghans who possessed legal documents. Amnesty International and many other humanitarian organizations have called the Pakistani government’s action against refugees a wrong decision.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have asked Pakistan to continue providing protection to all Afghan refugees who face possible danger if they return to their country.
Afghan refugees have been living in Pakistan since the 1980s. In addition to this, many people have migrated to that country due to wars and insecurity in Afghanistan at different times.
In August 2021, the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, with which immigration to Pakistan and other countries accelerated.
Recently, many Afghans have come to Pakistan who have settled there for a short period of time to seek asylum in other countries, but the process of obtaining asylum has been delayed.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), there are currently about 14 lakh registered Afghan refugees living in Pakistan and about the same number of unregistered Afghans