Pakistan, the southern neighbor of Afghanistan is one of the primary destinations Afghan refugees have moved to after the Taliban seized power in August 2021, aimed at migrating to countries that accept migrants.
Following the return of the Taliban to power in 2021, new waves of Afghan refugees moved to Iran and Pakistan due to several reasons including fearing ng death threats and persecution by Afghanistan’s de facto regime.
While in Pakistan, these migrants are faced with numerous challenges including arbitrary detentions, harassment, and imprisonment by Pakistani police due to failing to provide valid residential permits and visas.
Despite having the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugee’s (UNHCR) certificate, Pakistani police and other relevant agencies continue detaining and incarcerating Afghan refugees in different parts of the country, including the capital city of Islamabad.
Maniza Kakar, an attorney of Afghan prisoners in Karachi earlier claimed that Pakistani police tore the residential documents of some Afghan nationals while they were arrested.
On certain occasions, the mistreatment of Afghan refugees by the Pakistani government has been described as “inhuman and hateful”, prompting widespread criticism in Pakistan, Afghanistan and beyond.
“In less than two years, I have been detained three times by the police – harassed, humiliated and bitten due to not having a valid residential permit. Life has become extremely difficult for me in Pakistan. Every time, I come across police, I keep running from one ally to another to avoid possible imprisonment and forceful deportation to Afghanistan,” an Afghan refugee said.
Another Afghan refugee who has freshly moved to France said to Khaama Press that Pakistan does not offer you anything other than countless sufferings. He asked other immigrants to follow up on their immigration cases, otherwise, they will continuously face mistreatment, harassment and humiliation.
Most Afghan refugees currently residing in Pakistan has a migration case to one of the countries, the process time of which has become extremely lengthy at the moment, causing ambiguity and hopelessness for refugees.