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Voicepk.net, a project of AGHS Legal Aid Cell, with the support of the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives organized a round table on January 25, which saw the participation of political representatives, lawyers, human rights activists, journalists and members of the Afghan refugee community.
The dawn of a new year is the dawn of new beginnings for many. But for thousands of Afghan refugee students, Pakistan's deportation policy is making sure the sun sets on their futures.
For decades, Afghans sought treatment in Pakistan whose hospitals offer far more advanced patient care than Afghanistan. However, the enforcement of a strict visa policy is making high quality healthcare inaccessible for many from across the border.
Zulekha fears that she will not live to see her son start his own family: with the enforcement of the one-visa scheme at the Pak-Afghan border, her future daughter-in-law cannot travel to Pakistan for her own marriage.
When the Taliban came, Aimen lost any chance of going to college. Unable to continue her studies in Pakistan, she enrolled in a beautician training course at Rangeet Welfare Organization in the hopes of starting her own business some day.
When they first came to Pakistan, transgender Afghan refugees thought they were safe from the clutches of the Taliban. Now, amidst mass deportations of undocumented migrants, they can already feel the noose around their necks tightening every day.
Afghans in one of D. I. Khan’s largest refugee camp face the harrowing reality of police harassment, threat of deportation, and the struggle for dignity as Pakistan intensifies its crackdown on illegal migrants.
Zainab and Rahima’s sole source of income are the carpets they and their family weave by hand. Not only did they face starvation due to the Taliban’s ban on women participating in trade, as Hazara Shias, they are also in the crosshairs of ISIS back in Afghanistan. If deported, Pakistan will have signed off on their death warrants.
So far nearly 200,000 Afghan refugees have gone back to Afghanistan through Torkham, according to the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Among them, there are 1,000 people who were picked up by the police and sent back to their country.
November 15, 2023: Olus Yar Khan Achakzai, the spokesperson of the protest says that the government has already announced that the refugees must leave by November, but that the refugees must be treated under international law and convention.