“Restrictions on transfer of cash…”:Taliban minister raises concern over deportation of Afghan migrants from Pakistan


Kabul [Afghanistan], November 14: Taliban Minister Haji Nooruddin Azizi raised the issue of the deportation of Afghan refugees during his meeting with Pakistan Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani.
According to an Afghan embassy statement, Azizi discussed how Pakistan is expelling thousands of Afghan citizens as they are unable to take cash and other assets back to their homeland which they have built for decades.
The meeting comes days after Pakistan said its move to expel more than a million undocumented Afghans was a “response to the unwillingness of the Taliban-led administration” to act against armed fighters using Afghanistan to carry out attacks in Pakistan.
The Taliban officials have been saying that the attacks are an internal matter for Pakistan and have called on Islamabad to halt its deportation of Afghan citizens.
“Bilateral trade, especially the stranded goods of [Afghan] traders in Karachi port, smooth transfer of [Afghan] refugees’ properties to [Afghanistan] and related issues were discussed,” Afghanistan’s embassy in Islamabad said in the statement.
On the other hand, the Afghan citizens returning to Afghanistan have said there are restrictions on the transfer of cash and property to Afghanistan from Pakistan, where many had built businesses and homes for decades.
Last month, Pakistan set a November 1 start date for the expulsion of all undocumented immigrants, including hundreds of thousands of Afghans. It cited security reasons, brushing off calls to reconsider from the United Nations, rights groups and Western embassies.
Around 4.4 million Afghan refugees live in Pakistan, 1.7 million of them without valid documents, Al Jazeera reported citing Pakistan government figures.
Earlier on Monday, Pakistan opened three new border crossings to accelerate the repatriation in southwestern Balochistan province in addition to the main crossing in Chaman district, said Jan Achakzai, information minister for the provincial caretaker government.
The number of border crossings used to deport thousands of Afghans rose to five after the new facilities were opened. Currently, about 15,000 Afghans have been crossing the border every day from Pakistan. Before the crackdown, the figure was about 300.
Some 3,05,462 Afghan refugees have since left the country, authorities said. The majority, 2,09,550, crossed the border from the north-western province of Khyber Pakhtunkwa, said Fazal Rabbi, a senior official overseeing the deportation process.
Meanwhile, the international aid agencies have documented chaotic and desperate scenes among Afghans who have returned from Pakistan, Al Jazeera reported.
They have raised alarm at the dire conditions many Afghans who have recently returned are facing with few resources as the cold winter season begins and say many are staying in crowded shelters near the border operated by NGOs and Taliban authorities.
“Many Afghans in Pakistan are now facing police raids and demolition of their homes without due process. Detainees have been denied the right to a lawyer and communication with family members, leaving loved ones in the dark as to their whereabouts,” Amnesty International wrote on X (formerly Twitter) asking Pakistan to immediately halt deportations to prevent further escalation of this crisis.
Achakzai, the information minister, said police in Balochistan in recent days had arrested more than 1,500 Afghans who had no valid documents.
A prominent Pakistani human rights lawyer, Moniza Kakar, said in the southern port city of Karachi that police had launched midnight raids on homes and detained Afghan families, including women and children.
The head of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Hina Jilani, said Pakistan lacks a comprehensive mechanism to handle refugees, asylum seekers and migrants without papers, despite hosting Afghans for 40 years.
Also on Monday, police said officers were investigating whether an Afghan man, Asif Khan, killed his 25-year-old Pakistani wife, Ameena Bibi, because she refused to go to Afghanistan with him.
The incident happened the previous day in the northwestern city of Nowshera, police official Yasir Khan said. He said the suspect left the country with his four children


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here