Many Afghan social activists and refugees in Islamabad protested on Saturday against Pakistan’s forceful deportation policy and asked the host country to treat refugees with decency.
Khaama Press has received footage from yesterday’s gathering showing some Afghan women gathered in the capital Islamabad, urging the Pakistani government to stop forcefully extraditing Afghan refugees.
The demonstrators stated that they have not wishfully left their country, but were forced due to the imposition of bans restricting women and girls from education, employment, and public spaces.
This comes as the detention and deportation of Afghan migrants have unprecedentedly increased in Pakistan in the recent past in Sindh province in particular, prompting widespread condemnations within Pakistan and beyond.
In response to the imprisonment of Afghan citizens, the United Nation and refugee advocacy organizations called on the Pakistani government to respect human rights and treat Afghan refugees with decency.
“Pakistan government should not forcefully expel Afghan refugees because they cannot return to Afghanistan with the gender-based restrictions in place. We ask the International Community to drive immediate attention to the living conditions of women in Afghanistan,” a female protestor said.
“Seek asylum is a human right, therefore, Afghans should not be deprived of this very basic right outside their home country,” another protestor said.
The illegal movement of Afghan refugees to the neighboring countries of Iran and Pakistan has spiked over the past two years. Gender apartheid, discrimination, and restrictions on women’s education and work are the key reasons for the mass migration to these two destinations.
Although the relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan’s de facto regime have soured in the recent past, Pakistan has always drawn paramount importance in its foreign policy towards Afghanistan. The Pakistani government is very much interested to achieve its national interests in Afghanistan now more than ever before.