Amid the relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan deteriorating, the Islamabad government released thousands of undocumented detained Afghan nationals from Sindh province, reported Khaama Press.
The Taliban-ruled Afghanistan embassy in Islamabad had announced the release of 120 Afghan nationals who had previously been imprisoned in Sindh. It tweeted that some 130 Afghan detainees were released on Tuesday. As per this announcement, more Afghan citizens will be released in the coming days.
Earlier the embassy had announced the release of 1300 Afghan refugees had been released from Pakistani prisons. According to Pakistani officials, during a special operation, police detained more than 1200 Afghan nationals including women and children across Pakistan due to not having legal residential permits (visas), and put them behind bars in the recent past, the Khaama Press report said.
The Afghan Embassy in Pakistan have confirmed that nearly 1500 undocumented Afghan refugees are still in prisons in Pakistan, and efforts are underway for their release. The report quoted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) report, which said that some 1.3 million legal Afghan refugees are currently residing in Pakistan, however, it is estimated that thousands of illegal Afghan migrants are also living in different parts of Pakistan.
Notably, this comes after the charges affairs (diplomatic representative of state) of Taliban ruled Afghanistan embassy in Islamabad, Sardar Ahmad Shakib, has asked the Pakistani government to stop arresting Afghan citizens residing in Pakistan. More than 1,000 Afghans are imprisoned in Pakistan, Shakib said.
"1,050 Afghan citizens are in Pakistan's prisons and efforts are underway to release them and we called on the Pakistan government to stop arresting Afghan citizens," Shakib added. The relatives of those arrested said their family members are in bad condition in Pakistan's prisons.
An Afghan national said: "It has been three months since the government of Pakistan arrested our family members. We ask the Pakistan government to release them."
"It has been five months since the Pakistani government arrested my 17-year-old brother, and they didn't release him," another Afghan national said. "We ask Pakistan to release Afghan citizens immediately because according to international conventions, no country has the right to arrest refugees," said Asifa Stanikzai, a refugees' rights activist.
After the Taliban took over Afghanistan, last year, several civilians fled to different countries in order to seek refuge. Some of them also went to Pakistan for shelter but instead of giving attention, Pakistan took action against Afghani migrants.
Most of the immigrants were women and children. Among them, some women are sick and some women are expecting mothers. These medical facilities are inadequate. A few women have given birth to children in prison and cannot access medical care.
Meanwhile, in the Pakistan's National Assembly, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah admitted the belief that the TTP, formally called the Tehreek-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan, is an umbrella organization of various Islamist armed militant groups operating along the Afghan-Pakistani border. would lay down their arms and submit to the law was mistaken, as per Geo News. (ANI)