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HomeNewsHumanitarian Concerns Rise as Afghan Returnees Face Chaos Following Pakistani Crackdown

Humanitarian Concerns Rise as Afghan Returnees Face Chaos Following Pakistani Crackdown

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Major international aid agencies have raised a red flag over the increasingly chaotic and desperate situation facing Afghan returnees from Pakistan. Pakistan’s recent crackdown on illegal migration, which primarily targets Afghan nationals, has triggered a significant increase in daily returnees, soaring from an average of 300 to a staggering 9,000-10,000. These returnees, many of whom are in poor physical condition, embark on gruelling journeys that span several days, expose them to the elements, and often force them to part with their possessions in exchange for transportation.

This surge in Afghan returnees has left them with nowhere to go, and the aid agencies warn of dire prospects for their survival and reintegration into a country already overwhelmed by natural disasters, decades of conflict, a fragile economy, millions of internally displaced people, and an ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Salma Ben Aissa, the International Rescue Committee‘s country director in Afghanistan, expressed concerns about the bleak future that these returnees face, especially if they had lived in Pakistan for decades. Despite the challenges, Afghanistan’s Taliban authorities claim to have set up temporary camps for Afghans in border areas, offering food, shelter, healthcare, and SIM cards to returning individuals.

Meanwhile, in Pakistan, authorities are intensifying their efforts to scrutinize the documents of foreigners through police raids. Notably, they have been conducting demolitions of mud-brick homes on the outskirts of Islamabad, displacing Afghan residents and burying their household items under rubble. The situation underscores the urgent need for international attention and assistance, given Pakistan’s historical hosting of millions of Afghan refugees, including those who fled during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989.

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