Women, youngsters amongst 1,200 Afghan migrants jailed in Pakistan



KARACHI, Pakistan — Pakistani police in a number of raids detained at the least 1,200 Afghan nationals, together with ladies and kids, who had entered the southern port metropolis of Karachi with out legitimate journey paperwork, officers mentioned Thursday.

The arrests introduced criticism from round Afghanistan after photos of locked up Afghan kids had been circulated on-line. The detentions underscored the strained relations between the 2 South Asian neighbors.

Police and native authorities officers mentioned the detainees will likely be deported to Afghanistan after serving their sentences or when the paperwork for his or her launch is accomplished by their attorneys.

Pakistani officers declare that a lot of the detainees want to return dwelling.

Although Pakistan routinely makes such arrests, a number of and apparently coordinated raids had been launched starting in October to detain Afghans staying in Karachi and elsewhere with out legitimate paperwork.

Gul Din, an official on the Afghan Consulate in Karachi, mentioned he was involved with Pakistan a few “quick and dignified return” of the Afghan residents to their homeland.

Pictures of some Afghan kids crammed right into a cell of the central jail in Karachi went viral on social media, drawing appeals for his or her launch together with their mother and father.

At least 139 Afghan ladies and 165 kids are amongst these being held at a high-security jail in Karachi, in response to a report launched this month by Pakistan’s National Commission on Human Rights. The report was primarily based on interviews with scores of imprisoned Afghan detainees.

In the Afghan capital of Kabul, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, a spokesman for the international affairs ministry, mentioned embassy officers had expressed their considerations throughout conferences with their Pakistani counterparts.

“The Pakistani authorities have repeatedly pledged swift release of these detainees,” he informed The Associated Press, saying that to date Pakistan had didn’t “fully deliver on the commitment.”

“We believe that such degrading treatment of Afghans in Pakistan is not in the interest of any party,” Balkhi mentioned. He mentioned Afghans had been suggested to not enter Pakistan “unless absolutely necessary and without proper documentation.”

In Karachi, Murtaza Wahab, a spokesman for the Sindh provincial authorities, mentioned police just lately arrested solely these Afghans who had been residing within the province with out legitimate paperwork. He mentioned such detainees will likely be deported. He didn’t say what number of Afghans had been arrested for illegally residing in Sindh this 12 months.

But Moniza Kakar, a lawyer who helps such Afghan detainees, mentioned at the least 1,400 Afghans had been being held in Karachi’s jails. “We are not sure exactly how many Afghans are currently being held at jails in Pakistan. So far, we have facilitated the release of hundreds of Afghans to their country,” she mentioned.

Kakar mentioned some pregnant Afghan ladies who fled Afghanistan to hunt medical remedy and for different causes, are amongst these detained in Karachi and elsewhere in Sindh province. She mentioned one of many feminine Afghan detainees just lately gave beginning to a baby within the Hyderabad jail.

Kakar mentioned dozens of Afghans had been deported to Afghanistan final month after they accomplished their sentences, that are normally as much as two months. However, she prompt that such sentences needs to be solely verbal and symbolic — in order that the detainees might be despatched again to their international locations shortly.

Millions of Afghans fled to Pakistan throughout the 1979-1989 Soviet occupation of their nation, creating one of many world’s largest refugee populations. Since then, Pakistan has been internet hosting Afghans, urging them to register themselves with the United Nations and native authorities to keep away from any danger of deportation.

According to a just lately carried out U.N.-backed survey, 1.3 million registered Afghan refugees are residing in Pakistan.

“Following the takeover of Afghanistan by the Afghan Taliban, there has been a drastic rise in Afghans seeking to enter Pakistan for a multitude of reasons ranging from fleeing persecution, seeking medical aid and looking for job opportunities,” the report launched by the National Commission on Human Rights final week mentioned.

Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan have a historical past of bitter relations.

This month, Pakistan twice briefly closed a key border crossing for commerce on the southwestern city of Chaman after clashes erupted between Pakistan and Afghan Taliban forces over the fencing of a distant border village.

The Taliban seized energy in Afghanistan in mid-August 2021, sweeping into the capital, Kabul, and taking the remainder of the nation as U.S. and NATO forces had been within the remaining weeks of their pullout after 20 years of battle. Since then, over 100,000 Afghans have arrived in Pakistan to keep away from persecution at dwelling, though Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers introduced a pardon, urging Afghan residents to not depart the nation.

Ahmed from Islamabad. Associated Press author Riazat Butt in Kabul, Afghanistan, contributed to this story.


Source link

Comments are closed.