Pakistan’s decision to expel more than 1.5 million allegedly undocumented Afghan refugees and migrants has once again triggered tensions with the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Since October 31, more than 200,000 Afghans have crossed into Afghanistan, officials said, amid stringent criticism by Kabul. The officials from Kabul are saying that this expulsion is an injustice. They claim that this injustice cannot be ignored in any way. The forced expulsion of people is in conflict with all the norms of good neighborliness. In the long term, there may be many negative effects on relations and communications between the two countries.
Pakistan says most Afghans have left voluntarily, a claim rejected by Kabul, which has called the Pakistani action “unilateral” and “humiliating”. The Afghan interim government believes that the expulsion of Afghan refugees in such a large volume and in such a humiliating manner, when winter is coming and the weather is getting colder, is a cruel and unfair decision.
However, Islamabad blames the Afghan fighters and migrants for a surge in armed attacks inside Pakistan in recent years. On October 3, when the decision to deport “illegal” refugees was announced, interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti said that of the 24 suicide bombings in the country this year, 14 were carried out by Afghan nationals.
Pakistan says the TTP enjoys safe havens in Afghanistan and uses its soil to launch attacks against Pakistani security forces and installations. Afghan authorities have consistently denied the allegations, saying they have nothing to do with Pakistan’s internal security concerns.
Akhund’s deputy, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, was more scathing in his response, warning Islamabad to “not force their hand to react over the move”.
“We expect Pakistan’s security forces and civilian government to change their behavior. The reaction of Afghans is historically known to the whole world. Most of the time, they don’t show any reaction, but if they do, they are recorded in history,” Stanikzai said during a news conference in Kabul. Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikza warned Islamabad to treat Afghan immigrants appropriately and not force Afghans to react against their actions.
Stanikzai said that the reaction of Afghans has been recorded in history and now Afghanistan has a strong defense force and plenty of weapons. He also criticized the deportation process of Afghan immigrants and considered it a unilateral decision by the interim government of Pakistan. According to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pakistani soldiers are looting the property and assets of Afghan immigrants during their deportation from the country.
The official of the Islamic Emirate emphasized that Pakistan has ignored the demands of the United Nations and the world for the departure of Afghan immigrants, while for years it has earned money and high privileges from the presence of immigrants in its soil.
According to the information of the Refugees and Repatriation Department of Kandahar province, in the last five days, 4,533 families, which reached 31,547 people, have returned from Pakistan. The Pakistani government gave a deadline for undocumented Afghan immigrants to leave the country by November 1.