In a recent investigation by the English daily Dawn, it has been revealed that the Pakistani government has asked 1.7 million undocumented refugees to leave Pakistan and as per some reports, has also instructed them that they cannot take more than 50 thousand Pakistani rupees with them.
Due to such conditions placed by the government, Afghan refugees are unsure of their survival in Afghanistan, many of whom have not ever lived in their country of origin.
Pakistanis busy taking advantage of the compulsions of refugees.
A man named Mohammad Asif, who lived in Machar colony in Pakistan, had to sell his shop for 1/10th of the selling price. When asked why he did not hold out for a better deal, he replied that he was afraid that the Pakistani police would arrest him. Asif also narrated the story of his uncle who bought a house for Rs 5.2 million and had to sell it for Rs 1.4 million.
Similarly, Habib Ullah, who is 40 years old and used to run a vegetable shop in Peshawar had to sell his shop. For many years, his wife and his children grew up relying on this shop. But now due to Pakistani government’s expulsion orders, Habib Ullah was forced to flee and sell the shop at a lower price.
Already, undocumented Afghans had difficulty doing business or financial transactions through banks, and they would be represented by Pakistanis. With the recent turn of things, many Afghan refugees are complaining that the Pakistanis representing them financially are not shying away from taking advantage of their situation and siphoning off their hard earned incomes.
Amnesty International calls out Pakistan’s inhumane behavior
Leading human rights organizations like the Amnesty International have also expressed their opposition to the expulsion drive of Afghans by Pakistan. Livia Saccardi, Amnesty International’s deputy regional director for operations in South Asia, has said that Pakistan is currently using Afghan refugees as political pawns and sending them back to Afghanistan which is currently under Taliban rule.
The organization has also claimed that these Pakistanis are currently not only targeting those who do not have ‘Proof of Registration’ (POR), but they are also harassing those legitimate refugees who have POR, or in some cases even Pakistanis of Pashtun ethnic origin. Recently, as reported by the organization, there emerged a case of disappearance of a 17 year old boy who was born in Pakistan and had all the necessary documents but was still picked up from Karachi and kept in a detention center while his family members were not allowed to meet the boy.
Amnesty has warned that if the Pakistani government does not stop this deportation now, then the safety, education and life of thousands of Afghans, especially women and girls, will be at stake.