Afghan refugees in Pakistan complain about mistreatment by police: Report

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Amid the ongoing tensions between Kabul and Islamabad, Afghan refugees in Pakistan complained about mistreatment by the country’s police, Afghanistan-based TOLO News reported. Afghan Refugee Council official in Pakistan said that the Pakistani police have arbitrarily detained 100 refugees in Karachi, the report said. Mir Ahmad Rauf, head of the Taliban-led Afghan refugee council in Pakistan, said, “They have imposed heavy fines. They have taken actions under the pretext of illegal migration. This is a major concern.” Faizullah Turk, an Afghan refugee, said, “We have witnessed that the police yesterday in Karachi detained more than 100 refugees.”

Taliban-led Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation urged countries that are hosting Afghans to observe the international rights of the refugees. Abdul Mutalib Haqqani, a spokesperson for the Taliban-led Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, said, “We call on all hosting countries to use humane behaviour with the Afghans and provide them with the rights determined for them based on international laws,” TOLO News reported. Bahija Sadaat, a refugee rights activist, said that Pakistan was using the Afghan refugees as an “economic and political tool”. Sadaat said that the Taliban needs to hold talks with the hosting nations and the international community. “Pakistan is using the Afghan refugees as an economic and political tool.

To solve the problem of Afghan refugees, the Afghan government needs to talk with the hosting countries and international community,” TOLO News quoted Bahija Sadaat as saying. Nearly three million Afghans reside in Pakistan, according to the Taliban-led Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation. Meanwhile, Pakistan Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti called for the need to return Afghan refugees to Afghanistan. Bugti said that Pakistan is working on a plan in this regard. He said, “We have formed a plan which has been confirmed by the strategic forces of Pakistan as well. Based on the plan, every illegal refugee who is in Pakistan, from whichever country they are, they have received warnings and will be returned to their countries.”

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In response to a question in a press conference, Bugti said that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) attack was launched from Afghanistan. He further said that the Pakistani government has yet to ascertain whether only TTP members carried out the attack or if Afghan nationals were also involved in it. He also called on the Taliban to follow the Doha agreement which ensures that Afghan soil will not be used against any country. Earlier this month, Afghan refugees in Pakistan criticised the delay in immigration cases and accused the Pakistan military of mistreating them for the past two years, TOLO News reported. Maryam Sadat, a citizen of Afghanistan, died by suicide on Wednesday in Islamabad. “Three of our young people have lost their lives in the last two months due to the lack of attention of the immigrant-receiving countries and their false promises,” TOLO News News quoted Mir Ahmad Rauf, the head of the Council of Afghan Immigrants in Pakistan, as saying.

Zahir Bahand, a journalist said, “Afghan immigrants are struggling with mental health issues. If the international community does not pay attention to their cases, a great humanitarian disaster will occur in Pakistan.” Some Afghan immigrants complained about the mistreatment of the Pakistani military and said that the refugees without immigration cards are detained by the military. Malik Awal Khan Miakhail, the head of migrants in the South Zone Council said, “The immigrants are facing many problems due to not having Immigration cards, and the military detains them.”