In search of comfortable life; Afghan refugees languish in Pakistani prisons

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By: Sadaqat Ghorzang

Two years ago, when the Taliban took over Afghanistan, 55-year-old Zahir, a resident of Kunar province, immigrated to Pakistan with his family of seven members to live a comfortable life but he got jailed.
Zahir had to pay the house rent and expenses in a foreign country and was looking for a job, but the Pakistani police sent him behind bars.
The distraught family is passing through a difficult and scary situation and looking for the release of their sole breadwinner Zahir.
The Afghan refugee Zahir, who goes by his nickname, said that he left his homeland for fear of the Taliban and immigrated to Pakistan in search of a better and peaceful life.
Media reports say the Afghan refugees were imprisoned for not having valid documents for living in Pakistan.
He says that he hoped that he would have a good life together with his family in the neighboring country of Pakistan, but this dream was lost in the river.
He said “There is no one else to support my family, I don’t know anything about my family, what kind of situation they will be in, where they will get their house rent and food.”
The Pakistani police behave badly to Afghans and have made the lives of many Afghan refugees miserable, he said.
He wants the current authorities of Afghanistan to pay attention to the afghan refugees’ situation in Pakistan.
It is not only Zahir that during immigration faced with severe problems but thousands of Afghan refugees in this country are suffering the same situation.
Meanwhile, Abdul Jabbar Takhari, the Taliban Council in Karachi, wants the government of Pakistan to immediately stop arresting Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
The Taliban government council in Karachi, Pakistan says that 136 Afghans have been arrested in Pakistan in the past one and a half months.
Takhari adds: “Our request is arresting of Afghan refugees in Pakistan should be stopped, especially those Afghans who come for treatment, they should not be arrested by the Pakistani police and should be allowed to receive treatment on their own. It needs to be addressed.”
On the other hand, some activists of refugee rights believe that Afghans in other countries are facing many challenges.
Refugee rights activist Asifa Stanakzai says: “The reason for migration, especially illegal immigration, is cultural, economic, political and social issues, in which refugees face challenges such as theft, hostage-taking, various types of violence and death.” It happens.”
Siddiq Kakar, a defense lawyer in Pakistan, is saying about Afghan migrations in Pakistan: “Mobile phones, money and other items are taken from them, and if these people have money, the police take the money from them and release them.”
At the same time, Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations Mohammad Amir Khan said that his country cannot cooperate with Afghan refugees after this.
He added: “The humanitarian and economic crisis in Afghanistan has caused millions of Afghans to migrate to escape poverty and hunger, and Pakistan is witnessing more refugees; but they can no longer cooperate in this regard. Other members of the international community must take care of Afghans.”
This is while, according to the statistics of the Ministry of Refugees and Returnees, three million Afghans spend their nights in Pakistan, almost three million in Iran and one million more in other countries.
Amnesty International also requested the government of Pakistan to immediately stop the process of arresting Afghan refugees and asylum seekers and ill-treating them.

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad calls on the Foreign Minister

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