Pakistan authorities detain undocumented Afghans for deportation News
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Pakistan authorities detain undocumented Afghans for deportation

Pakistani authorities began detaining undocumented foreign persons in the country on Wednesday, most of whom had come over the border from Afghanistan. This comes amid growing fear and concern for Afghans faced with the life or death decision of being sent back to Afghanistan and into the hands of Taliban authorities.

In a statement, Pakistan’s interior ministry said “Public is encouraged to report to the authorities about the presence of illegal foreigners in their localities” with the minster of interior saying there would be “No compromise on deportation […] after [the November 1] deadline”. 

A number of politicians and human rights groups sent a petition to Pakistan’s Supreme Court amid Wednesday’s deportations, asking the court to declare the government’s actions “unlawful and against the constitutional law.”

UN human rights experts Tuesday called upon Pakistan to not carry out its planned deportations. Ravina Shamdasani, the spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said Friday that Pakistan’s plan to deport the “undocumented” remaining foreign nationals in the country after November 1 should be suspended as it disproportionately impacts more than a million undocumented Afghans who will remain in Pakistan post the final deadline. This comes as Pakistan Interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti issued a warning last week to “illegal immigrants” living in Pakistan to voluntarily leave the country by November 1 or risk potential arrest and deportation.


The actions of the Pakistani authorities are likely to commit thousands of Afghans who fled for their lives back into the hands of the Taliban, as messages from those fearing for their life have revealed. There has even been concern raised for many Afghans who sought Pakistan as their home long before the Taliban retook the country in 2021.

Members of the UK Parliament have raised their deep concern over the situation, with some telling me they have written the government as a matter of urgency. In August, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a statement condemning the idea that the Taliban was “reformed.”

Fereshta Abassi, Afghanistan researcher at Human Rights Watch said “Pakistan has again unleashed an anti-refugee crackdown to coerce the mass return of Afghans.” Abassi continued, “Countries that promised to provide at-risk Afghans with resettlement abroad should press Pakistan to end its abuses, and they should live up to their own promises to resettle Afghan refugees.”