The United Nations‘ human rights leader, Volker Türk, expressed great concern about the mistreatment of Afghan refugees in Pakistan as the country forces them to leave.
Türk said he is worried about reports that Afghan people are being kicked out of Pakistan for no good reason and also being treated badly, arrested, and forced to leave their things behind.
He asked the Pakistani government to stop sending people back to their country until they have a fair way to decide who should go back and investigate reports of mistreatment by the police.
Pakistan asked over a million Afghan refugees to leave the country by November 1. They can leave on their own, without being forced.
The UN says that over 327,000 refugees have returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan because they were afraid of getting arrested.
The UN heard that Afghan refugees in Pakistan are being treated unfairly. Some were arrested for no reason and had their things taken away by the police.
“Unfair arrests and keeping people in custody go against Pakistan’s responsibilities under international laws,” Türk added.
The UN Human Rights Chief wants Pakistan to make sure that people who could be in danger in Afghanistan are kept safe and not sent back there.
Türk said that women and girls are at higher risk if they are sent back against their will because the authorities’ rules stop them from going to school, working, moving around, and taking part in public activities.
In August 2021, the Taliban took over the country again and stopped girls from going to school and women from going to university. Lately, they have shut down beauty salons and stopped women from going to a well-liked national park.
By the end of 2022, Pakistan had over 1. 3 million Afghan refugees who were officially registered, and about 427,000 other people from Afghanistan in similar situations, as reported by the United Nations refugee agency.
But many people in Pakistan have been upset about them being there for a long time. The police have tried to stop them and have threatened to send them away in the past.
Pakistan’s government has made a plan to crack down on people who are in the country illegally.
A group of people is working together to catch people who have fake ID cards and illegal houses built with fake documents. The national database and registration body has been told to cancel any fake ID cards and check with DNA testing to confirm cases.
In 1979, lots of Afghans left their country because of the Soviet invasion and went to live in Pakistan. This was the biggest refugee crisis in the world at that time. In 2021, many Afghans fled to Pakistan after the Taliban took control of Kabul. They didn’t have all the right papers and were waiting for visas to go to other countries like the United States.