Pakistan Afghan Refugee Refoulment & Deportation

Saiyan0321

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I have created this Sticky thread to record all deportations efforts regarding Afghan Refugees which can include deportation centers, policies, legalities and border security regarding the fencing of durand line and the creation of check posts.
 

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The Afghan Refoulment Principle​


A few days ago, the Federal Caretaker Cabinet held a meeting regarding the growing threat of terrorism and militancy within Pakistan. The said cabinet, absent any thought of whether they have the authority to formulate new security policies or not, or whether the impact of devising such policies could be devastating for the state, decided to shift all the blame for deteriorating security on Afghan refugees, which came as no surprise. The caretaker cabinet also announced that 1.1 million Afghan refugees without documentation have till November before they will be forcefully evicted from Pakistan. This news was met with massive outrage as international and local humanitarian organizations called such a move myopic and an illogical take on the worsening security situation.

Before we discuss the legality of the forceful eviction of Afghan refugees, we must first discuss under whose authority is a caretaker government empowered to make such a policy decision. It is now a settled principle of law that a caretaker government cannot make policy decisions, especially those that can have long-term effects on the country, as well as the incoming government. The Supreme Court has clearly laid down this principle in 2021 PLD 313 and the same principle was cemented by the Peshawar High Court and the Lahore High Court in 2022 PLD 100 and 2023 CLC 1535 respectively, wherein the courts stated that the caretaker government can only continue day-to-day policies till the elected government comes to power.

Even if we take into account the recent amendments to the Election Act 2017, they still do not allow the caretaker government to make such serious policy decisions, as the amendments only allowed for the implementation of the IMF program. There is no doubt that the caretaker cabinet does not have the power to make such a policy decision, especially when the mess brought forth by such a policy will have to be cleaned up by the incoming government. In addition to the burden such a precedent may create on incoming governments, an unelected institution cannot be allowed to make such policy or reform, as they are not the representatives of the people.

Furthermore, Pakistan cannot forcefully evict Afghan refugees, especially if those refugees face threats in their home country, as it is against International Humanitarian Law. Whilst Pakistan is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 Protocol, that does not mean that Pakistan can take any inhumane action that it sees fit regarding refugees. The principle of non-refoulment is now considered a legal customary principle in International Law. The International Court of Justice in the judgment Nicaragua vs United States of America, held that the conduct of states following such rules is sufficient for the existence of customary law and any instance of the contrary should be treated as a breach rather than the formation of a new rule.

Considering the fact that the principle of non-refoulment, or returning an asylum seeker to their home country has been declared as an act contrary to International Humanitarian Law in multiple treaties as well as the United Nations Declaration of 1967, it can be fairly stated that the rights of the refugees are no longer enshrined solely in aforementioned convention and protocol. Further evidence of this customary law can be perused from the fact that in addition to the 1967 Declaration, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 37/95 in 1982 regarding principles of asylum and non-refoulment and then in 1989, Resolution 44/137, which called upon all states to refrain from taking steps that would jeopardize the institution of asylum which was further cemented in Resolution 45/140 of 14 December 1990, Resolution 46/106 of 16 December 1991 and in Resolution 47/105 of 16 December 1992. In Resolution 48/116 of 21 December 1993, the General Assembly called upon "all States to uphold asylum as an indispensable instrument for the international protection of refugees, and to respect scrupulously the fundamental principle of non-refoulement."


To be continued on the website

 

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Deportation of Afghan nationals challenged in SC


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court was approached on Wednesday to declare the caretaker government’s decision of mass deportation of Afghans as illegal, unconstitutional and against the fundamental rights.

Filed through Advocate Umer Ijaz Gilani, a joint petition moved on behalf of Farhatullah Babar, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, Amina Masood Janjua, Mohsin Dawar, Mohammad Jibran Nasir, Syed Muaz Shah, Pastor Ghazala Parveen, Imaan Zainab Mazari, Ahmad Shabbar, Advocate Imran Shafiq, Luke Victor, Sijal Shafiq, and Rohail Kasi, pleaded before the apex court to restrain the federal government and state institutions from detaining, forcefully deporting, or otherwise harassing anyone who possesses a PoR (proof of residence), ACC (Afghan Citizen Card), asylum-seeker application issued by UNHCR or pre-screening slip issued by its partners SHARP and SEHAR.

Remainder Article on the Website

 

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Imran’s statement on Afghan refugees aimed at ‘garnering sympathy’ of Afghan govt: info minister


Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi on Friday said former prime minister Imran Khan’s statement about the expulsion of Afghan refugees was aimed at “garnering the sympathy” of the interim Afghan government.

In November, the caretaker government had initiated a nationwide campaign to deport illegal foreign nationals, the majority of whom are Afghans. While the decision had prompted criticism from Afghanistan and several other quarters, the government has refused to budge, insisting the move is not aimed at any particular ethnic group.


Of the more than four million Afghans living in Pakistan, the government estimates 1.7m are undocumented. So far, thousands of Afghans have returned home from the Torkham and Chaman border crossings.

On Thursday, a statement from Imran — who is currently incarcerated in Adiala Jail — was issued on social media platform X on the issue, criticising the treatment allegedly being meted out to Afghan refugees.


Remainder article on the website

 

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‘What’s wrong?’: The silence of Pakistanis on expulsion of Afghan refugees​


Islamabad, Pakistan – They were a common sight across major Pakistani cities, performing low-paying wage work – loading goods at markets, pushing carts on streets to sell fruits and vegetables, or picking trash.

But since the beginning of the month, those Afghans have been missing from public view after the Pakistan government ordered a crackdown on undocumented refugees and migrants, nearly 1.7 million of them from the neighbouring country.

Air conditioner technician Raza Ali, who works in a major electronics market in Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city in the eastern Punjab province, told Al Jazeera he was “not friends with them, but they were always around”.

“But since the government started its crackdown, they just vanished. It could be good for us because now our people can do their jobs,” the 31-year-old told Al Jazeera.

“Look, they were not from here. If the government is sending them back to their own country, what is wrong with that? I think this is the right decision. Besides, I did not know them. It does not make any difference to my life,” he added nonchalantly.

Remainder article on the website

 

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Afghan Hazara refugees live in fear of being deported by Pakistan​


n the shaky mobile phone footage, women's voices can be heard panicking. The camera moves in and out of focus, positioned through a crack in a door frame.
Across the yard, Pakistani police are outside a property, looking for undocumented foreigners. The officers flip through papers as several men sit expectantly inside.
Then the video cuts out.
Across Pakistan, unannounced arrivals of police are becoming increasingly common in a crackdown on hundreds of thousands of foreigners who do not have the right documents to stay.

The vast majority affected are Afghans, who now face the threat of deportation.


Remainder Article on the Website

That should be a good start for the thread
 

Saithan

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It’s a very smart move. One I personally applaude.

refugees are accepted on the precondition they can be integrated into society. If you can’t integrate them. Then it’s a ticking timebomb.
 

Marlii

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It’s a very smart move. One I personally applaude.

refugees are accepted on the precondition they can be integrated into society. If you can’t integrate them. Then it’s a ticking timebomb.
Its a very smart move But on the other side when you have an Anti pak militant organisation waiting for them to be recruited known as TTP its not that smart.
 

Saithan

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Its a very smart move But on the other side when you have an Anti pak militant organisation waiting for them to be recruited known as TTP its not that smart.
Doesn’t matter. From being civilian uprising / dissident e.g. threat they become armed combatant threat and that is a hell of a lot easier to deal with.

yeah the border is long and difficult to monitor.
 

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