ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government has ordered authorities not to detain Afghans waiting to move to the US as it cracks down on illegal immigration.
More than 180,000 people have returned to Afghanistan since Islamabad ordered 1.7 million Afghans it said were living illegally in Pakistan to leave the country or face deportation, border officials said.
Human Rights Watch has previously warned that Afghans waiting to be resettled in the US, UK, Germany and Canada after fleeing the Taliban government risk being deported after their Pakistani visas expire.
Many Western countries are still in the process of resettling Afghan refugees two years after the Taliban came to power, leaving many families to wait months in limbo in Pakistan.
“According to the American Embassy, 1,150 Afghan citizens are being sponsored for relocation and resettlement to the United States,” said the letter dated November 2 from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and seen by AFP.
“It is requested to ensure that the Afghan nationals mentioned in the subject list are not arrested until further notice.”
This comes after the US called on Islamabad on Wednesday to allow the passage of Afghans seeking asylum.
“We strongly encourage Afghanistan’s neighbors, including Pakistan, to allow entry to Afghans seeking international protection and to coordinate with international humanitarian organizations to provide humanitarian assistance,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement Wednesday. said.
Millions of Afghans have flocked to Pakistan in recent years, fleeing a series of violent conflicts, including an estimated 600,000 since the Taliban government seized power in August 2021 and imposed its harsh interpretation of Islamic law.
Pakistan said the deportations were to protect its “welfare and security” following a sharp increase in attacks that the government blamed on militants operating from Afghanistan, but Kabul denied this claim.
news source (www.brecorder.com)