afghan migrants return to taliban rule as pakistan expels 1 million migrants
Around 200,000 Afghan nationals have returned to Taliban rule in Afghanistan because the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has started the crackdown to expel illegal migrants who enter the country without registration.
November 1 is the deadline that Pakistan has set for undocumented migrants to leave the country. Pakistan aims to expel around one million undocumented migrants. The Pakistani government has ordered “illegal foreigners” to return to their countries of origin by November 1. Anyone found staying in the country illegally from Wednesday will be detained and held in designated “holding centers” and deportation centers.
Pakistan is setting up deportation centers to hold migrants. These centers are for migrants who are living in the country illegally, including an estimated 1.7 million Afghanistan migrants.
According to the authorities, nearly 200,000 Afghan nationals had returned home since the crackdown on migrants was announced by the Pakistani government.
What happened to Afghan migrants?
Muhammad Rahim, a 35-year-old Afghan national, who was born in Pakistan, married a Pakistani woman, boarded a bus from Karachi to the Afghan border on 31 October. He was forced to leave the country because he had no Pakistani identity documents.
According to Human Rights Watch, Pakistan has been using threats, abuse, and detention to coerce Afghan migrants without legal status to return to Afghanistan or face deportation by November 1, 2023.
Afghan migrants have been facing harassment, assault, beatings, and arbitrary detention. Fereshta Abbasi, a Researcher in the Asia division at Human Rights Watch, “The situation in Afghanistan remains dangerous for many who fled and deportation will expose them to significant security risks.”
Khaliq Atifi, an Afghan migrant in Pakistan, has said that Afghans registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are also facing deportation in Pakistan. These migrants are also transferred to the police station. In most cases, Afghan migrants have to pay between 10,000 and 40,000 Pakistani rupees in bribes to Pakistani police.
The United Nations said that the situation can trigger a human rights catastrophe. The UN also warned Pakistan against forcibly deporting Afghan refugees, citing the potential for grave human rights violations.
Afghan migrants return to Taliban rule
In Afghanistan, the influx of returning migrants has exerted pressure on Taliban authorities. The Afghan Ministry of Refugees will house the returning migrants to temporary camps. Among returnees, women and girls; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people (LGBT); human rights activists; and journalists are at great risk of facing human rights abuses.