Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon on Friday spoke to the media on the status of Afghan female illegal migrants after drawing criticism on the photograph of minors behind bars that went viral on social media.
While addressing to the media, Memon said 129 Afghan female illegal immigrants were jailed in Sindh province — with 178 children but insisted the minors were inmates, not prisoners.
Memon further added that illegal migrants including Afghans, Nigerians, and Bangladesh nationals were detained throughout the country, and they will be treated based on the established rules and regulations of the Pakistani government.
This comes as the photograph of minors behind bars went viral on social media, drawing criticism from activists, politicians, and refugee advocacy organizations – describing it as insane and inhuman.
United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Pakistan expressed its utmost concern after seeing the images and reports of the arrest and detention of Afghan refugees in Sindh province, particularly Karachi.
Meanwhile, the Embassy of Afghanistan in Islamabad asked Pakistani government officials to release Afghan detainees which include men, women, and children. Despite many promises Islamabad authorities have made in this regard, Afghan migrants detained for not having legal documents, are still not released, Afghan Embassy tweeted.
Naseer Ahmad Faiq, the Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations called on the United Nations to take immediate action following the image of minor Afghan detainees behind bars going viral on the internet.
Following the return of the Taliban to power in August 2021 in Afghanistan, Pakistan witnessed another influx of Afghan refugees most of whom entered the country without visas or other legal documents through the Torkham and Chaman land routes, now facing critical challenges.