February 8, 2023 5:17 am

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Taliban Slams Pakistan for Mistreating Afghan Refugees

More than 6 million Afghans have been driven out of their homes or their country by conflict, violence, and poverty. Afghan refugees are the third-largest displaced population in the world after Syrian refugees and displaced Venezuelans.

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Owing to the perpetual mistreatment of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has sharply reacted to it asking Pakistan to stop the inhumane treatment of Afghans.

The statement from the Taliban leadership came when a viral video showcased Afghan refugees tied with a rope and detained in Karachi, Pakistan. The video was widely circulated on social media.

The Taliban Foreign Ministry has asked Islamabad to refrain from such activities. It has asked Pakistan to immediately address the misconduct of Afghans in Pakistan and to adhere to the basic rights of refugees.

As per Tolo News, an Afghan news daily, the deputy spokesman for MoFA Zia Ahmad Takal said, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Emirate condemns the disturbing of our citizens and calls on the Pakistani government to avoid the repeat of such actions.”

The spokesman of the ministry, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, wrote on Twitter, “For some time, Afghans have been mistreated by the Pakistani police in various cities of Pakistan and all along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, especially in Sindh.”

Mr. Balkhi also wrote that the ministry and the Afghan embassy in Pakistan tried to address the problems, but “unfortunately, this problem was not solved despite repeated requests”.

Afghan Refugee

Afghans have suffered more than 40 years of conflict, natural disasters, chronic poverty, food insecurity, the Covid-19 Pandemic, and violence in the backdrop of the Taliban taking over Afghanistan. 

Due to these events, more than 6 million Afghans have been driven out of their homes or their country by conflict, violence, and poverty. As per the UNHCR report, Afghan refugees are the third-largest displaced population in the world after Syrian refugees and displaced Venezuelans. The vast majority of refugees from Afghanistan are living in Pakistan and Iran, which continue to host more than 1.3 million unregistered and 780,000 registered Afghan refugees.

Apart from the conflict, Afghanistan has been impacted by recurrent natural disasters including droughts and earthquakes. In June 2022, a big earthquake hit the country, killing at least 1,000 people and injuring many more. This has also increased the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, forcing the common Afghan to flee.

Why Pakistan Mistreats Afghan Refugees

The Afghan news daily Tolo news report suggests that Islamabad is using the presence of Afghan refugees as a tool to pressure the caretaker government of Afghanistan to accept its wishes. 

As per the Afghan Embassy in Pakistan, more than 1,250 Afghan refugees have been detained within the past 40 days by Pakistani police.

“When the government of Pakistan sits in talks with the Islamic Emirate and does not reach an agreement, then Pakistan has leverage with Afghan refugees who are living in Pakistan and will beat them, disturb them and deport them,” said Mohammad Rahimi, a university instructor.

Shubham Joshi
Shubham Joshi
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