Returnees say Pakistani police harassed them

KABUL (SW) – A number of citizens who have returned to the country from Pakistan in recent days have told Salam Watandar that the Pakistani police abused and harassed them.

Baryaal, who lived in Pakistan’s Sindh province for 25 years and returned to Kandahar four days ago, says that he was deported from Pakistan under very unfortunate circumstances. He adds: “We were forced out of Pakistan, the situation was very bad, we were harassed by their government. They didn’t even spare women and children.”

Hamid, another Afghan citizen who has just returned to the country after living in Pakistan for 30 years, says: “It was very cruel, we came from Pakistan in bad conditions, children and women were in bad conditions. Wherever the Pakistani police caught Afghan migrants, they deported them forcefully.”

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, by issuing a statement about the ill-treatment, arbitrary arrest and registration of assets of Afghan immigrants by the Pakistani police, expressed concern and said that many Afghan immigrants who return to their country, their property and assets are confiscated. According to this institution, this is against the country’s international obligations.

A number of newly returned citizens from Pakistan also say that their assets were confiscated by the police of this country when they were deported from Pakistan. Mohammad Khan, a citizen who recently returned from Pakistan, says: “They did not show mercy to women, children, or the needy. They attacked the houses. When they expelled us, they took 500,000 rupees from me, and I had a car worth 1 million rupees, which is left there.”

Mohammad Hussain, another citizen who recently returned from Pakistan, also says: “We had a house in Pakistan, we had a shop, our house cost one crore [500,000 Afghanis], we couldn’t get the money for it, we tried many times to get the proper price of our shop or house, but it didn’t happen.”

However, Abdul Rahman Rashid, the deputy minister of the Ministry of Migrants and Returnees Affairs, told Salaam Watandar that efforts are underway to prevent the harassment of Afghan migrants by the Pakistani police. He adds: “We do not accept the insult and humiliation of any Afghan in any part of the world and we consider ourselves responsible for protecting the rights of immigrants. In this regard, measures have been taken through diplomatic authorities and we are trying to prevent harassment of immigrants.”

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA) announced on Wednesday that since mid-September, 327,400 citizens have returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan.