Pakistan accepts 1.4 million Afghan refugees each year, then deports them


She announced Pakistan Today it will allow 1.45 million Afghan refugees living on its territory to stay for another year, while confirming that measures to expel illegal immigrants will continue.

The Prime Minister's Government said Shahbaz Sharif It agreed to extend until June 2025 the stay of 1.45 million Afghan refugees living legally on its territory and holding registration cards as proof.

The refugee cards expired late last month, leaving their holders in legal limbo over their rights to remain in Pakistan.

Not all Afghans in Pakistan have such cards, and even those who do say they have been harassed and intimidated into leaving the country.

More than 600,000 Afghans have fled Pakistan since Islamabad ordered illegal immigrants to leave the country last year under threat of arrest amid strained relations with the country. Afghanistan With security as the background.

Islamabad's announcement came a day after a three-day visit by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, who “expressed appreciation for the suspension of the planned deportation of illegal foreigners,” the commission said yesterday.

But Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mumtaz Zahra Baloch confirmed that “this is not true.” She told reporters that Pakistan has not yet provided such an understanding to the UNHCR and that the plan “still exists and is being implemented in an orderly and phased manner.”

Meanwhile, a Pakistani immigration official at the Torkham crossing, the busiest crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan, said they had started confiscating documents from departing Afghans, including refugee registration cards, “We are implementing this directive as per the directive between Pakistan and the Ministry of Interior.”

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that the measure is “aimed at ensuring that these refugees do not return to Pakistan and leave permanently, knowing that they can enter again after obtaining a visa.”

It is worth noting that over the years, millions of Afghans have flocked to Pakistan to escape decades of continuous war. An estimated 600,000 have arrived since the return Taliban Power on in August 2021

Islamabad had previously declared the mass deportation plans justified by security concerns and the country's ailing economy.

Analysts believe Pakistan is putting pressure on Kabul due to a rise in attacks in the border region with Afghanistan, where the Taliban government is accused of providing safe haven to militants.

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