The Pakistani state has long claimed that Afghans and Pakistanis are brothers but that is in rhetoric, not reality. The recent decision by the Pakistani state to expel Afghan refugees by November 1 is inhumane and unjust.
At a high-profile consultation on October 21, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) called on the government “to immediately withdraw its decision to expel undocumented foreigners by 1 November. The decision does not fall within the mandate of a caretaker government to begin with, apart from which it amounts to forced repatriation, which is not recognised under international law, and will invariably affect poor and vulnerable Afghan refugees and asylum seekers, including women, children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, and Afghans at risk because of their professions.”
Former senator and HRCP Council member Farhatullah Babar noted that “the absence of domestic laws on refugees was no excuse for failing to protect their rights, given Pakistan’s obligations under its tripartite agreement with Afghanistan and UNHCR. He recommended the institution of a national refugee council as a bridge between the government and refugees to enable the latter to articulate their concerns.”