The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

UN urges Pakistan to halt Afghans’ deportations to avoid ‘human rights catastrophe’

KABUL: The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in a statement on Friday called on the Pakistani government to suspend forcible return of Afghan nationals before it is too late to avoid human rights catastrophe. “As the 1 November deadline approaches, we urge the Pakistan authorities to suspend forcible returns of Afghan nationals before it is too late to avoid a human rights catastrophe,” said UN Human Rights Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani “We believe many of those facing deportation will be at grave risk of human rights violations if returned to Afghanistan, including arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, cruel and other inhuman treatment, spokesperson said. She said, “We are extremely alarmed by Pakistan’s announcement that it plans to deport ‘undocumented’ foreign nationals remaining in the country after Nov 1, a measure that will disproportionately impact more than 1.4 million undocumented Afghans who remain in Pakistan.” According to the statement, there are more than two million undocumented Afghans living in Pakistan, with at least 600,000 of them leaving Afghanistan after the takeover of the country by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) in August 2021. “The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have already documented a sharp increase in returns to Afghanistan since the deadline was announced on 3 October, she quoted. By 15 October, 59,780 Afghans had left Pakistan, according to a recent flash report by the two agencies. OHCHR also called on the Government to continue providing protection to those in need and ensure that any future returns are safe, dignified, voluntary and in line with international law. UN Human Rights Spokesman said: “As winter approaches, any mass deportations are bound to deepen the dire humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, which continues to grapple with the devastating impact of the series of earthquakes that struck Herat province this month.” At least 1,400 people were killed and 1,800 injured, she added, citing official figures. Afghanistan has a population of 43 million people, most of whom, nearly 30 million, currently need relief assistance, adding more than three million are internally displaced. “We remind the de facto authorities of the international human rights obligations that continue to bind Afghanistan as a state and their obligations to protect, promote and fulfill human rights,” she said. Meanwhile, based on the order of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Emirate Shaikh Hebatullah Akhundzada, construction of temporary camps has been started in Qandahar and Nangarhar provinces for Afghan refugees who are returning from Pakistan. The purpose of constructing these camps is to provide facilities to the returnees, including food, non-food items and medicines. S.Raqib

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.