The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.
South Asia

Distinguish Afghans from terrorists, says former Pakistani FM

Talking to reporters in Karachi, Bhutto-Zardari, who is also the Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party, stressed the need for firm action against banned groups such as the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan but advised against using similar methods on civilians. “We need to distinguish between individuals and terrorists in all policies,” BhuttoZardari remarked. He expressed worries about the current government’s ambiguous stance on the repatriation of undocumented Afghan migrants. In reply to a question, the former foreign minister said there was a “lack of clarity” in the caretaker government’s policy about the repatriation of illegal Afghan immigrants. Pakistan had set a November 1st deadline for unauthorized migrants, which included 1.7 million undocumented Afghans, to depart voluntarily. Nonetheless, as per Balochistan Information Minister Jan Achakzai, the government has now broadened this to encompass registered Afghan migrants as well. Initially, the Pakistan government had cautioned Afghan immigrants living unlawfully in the country to depart voluntarily by November 1st. However, the authorities have now opted to expand the measure, as announced by Balochistan Information Minister Jan Achakzai, by planning to deport even registered Afghans. Answering a question during her weekly press briefing on Friday, Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said the policy was reflective of Pakistan’s desire to implement its own laws, which include sanctions on individuals who are residing illegally. Recently, Afghan refugees have been expelled due to the decision of the Pakistani caretaker government, causing many problems and challenges for them. Some expelled families are in a precarious situation. The expelled migrants, including women and children, said they still have no information about the fate of their families in Pakistan. “My children, who were Quran reciters, were taken secretly, students were taken from schools and brought to the border and expelled,” said Aziz Ahmad, an expelled refugee from Pakistan. “They came to our house, took our belongings, and threw them into a truck. This injustice began and couldn’t be known in the secluded alley alone,” said Abdul Qayoum, another refugee. Since the beginning of the forced deportation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan, more than 50,000 Afghans have returned to the country through the Spin Boldak border crossing. In addition, Pakistan has imposed restrictions on transit goods to Afghanistan through the country’s route for the past two months, resulting in over 4,000 containers of traders’ goods being held up at the port of Karachi. Nonetheless, some traders urge the Islamic Emirate to reach a permanent agreement with Pakistan to solve trade problems between Kabul and Islamabad permanently. After the Islamic Emirate returned to power in Afghanistan, which was expected to improve relations between Islamabad and Pakistan, contrary to the expectations of the majority, it cooled down, and the Pakistani government resorted to expelling Afghan refugees, aiming to exert pressure on the Afghan government. Mukhtar Safi

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.