On October 3, 2023, the Pakistani government announced its decision to deport unregistered Afghan refugees back to Afghanistan by November 1. Since November, authorities have deported Afghans and increased the crackdown on unregistered Afghan refugees, which has resulted in arbitrary arrests, unlawful detentions of refugees, and separation of families. Authorities have not allowed access to detention centers recently set up for deportation purposes. Houses of Afghan refugees have also been demolished, and properties seized. It is imperative to demand that the Government of Pakistan halt the continued detentions, deportations, and widespread harassment of Afghan refugees.
- Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
- Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 109.23. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
H.E. Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar
Caretaker Prime Minister
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
G-5/2 Islamabad Pakistan
Pakistani Embassy in the United States
Ambassador Masood Khan
3517 International Court, NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: (202) 243-6500
Email: [email protected]
Dear H.E. Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar,
I am deeply concerned about the decision made by the Pakistani government on October 3, 2023, to deport more than 1.4 million unregistered Afghan refugees from Pakistan. This decision poses a significant threat to the human rights of Afghan women and girls, including their rights to education, work, and freedom of movement. Additionally, a significant number of refugees, including journalists, human rights defenders, female protestors, artists, and former government officials, would be at imminent risk of persecution if forced to return to Afghanistan.
Since November 1, 2023, the crackdown on unregistered Afghan refugees have resulted in arbitrary arrests and separation of families including minors, women, and older people. Detention centers for deportation purposes have been established. Media, lawyers, civil society, and even family members of those detained are not allowed to access them. Afghan refugees’ houses have been demolished, and properties confiscated. The government has also announced expulsion of documented refugees in the “next phase” of deportations, a process which has already begun. These actions violate Pakistani government’s international legal obligations, notably the principle of non-refoulement.
I urge you to stop the crackdown on Afghan refugees, halt the forced returns of Afghans, and reverse your decision. I also urge you to immediately release refugees arbitrarily detained in detention centers and further refrain from detaining Afghan refugees. Finally, I call on you to create pathways for obtaining timely documentation and renewing all expired visas especially for vulnerable populations.