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Afghan refugees, mostly women and children, continue to suffer in Pakistani prisons: Reports

Many illegal Afghani immigrants are kept in Pakistani prisons, their deportation is prolonged and their cases are stuck in the courts on various pretexts, according to Peace for Asia.

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.

International organizations donated huge amounts to the Pakistani government for Afghan refugees but little do they know that their money is not used for their benefit. Women and human rights organizations have not reached out to these victims.

The Pashtun Protection Movement (PTM) was helping these imprisoned Afghan refugees, with financial and legal support. There is only one female lawyer in Karachi, Advocate Manza Kakar fighting for the rights of Afghan women and children and raising funds for them, reported Peace for Asia.

Regarding Afghan refugees’ plight, PTM’s leader Manzoor Pashteen tweeted, “Afghan girls are deprived of knowledge in Afghanistan and innocent Afghan girls are imprisoned in Pakistan”. In response to this tweet, a Sindh Government Minister questioned these claims.

Pashteen challenged the Sindh government to rectify its claims following which it deleted the tweet that claimed there were no Afghan refugees in Sindh’s jails. According to Peace for Asia, the PTM has raised its voices on various forums, including social media and the protest demonstrations in support of Afghan women, girls and children languishing in Pakistan’s jails.

One of the main reasons is that a few political parties in Sindh have been campaigning to expel Afghan refugees from Sindh for some time now. Under pressure from these political parties, and to strengthen its vote bank, the Sindh government’s actions against the Afghans go against basic human rights and refugee laws.

Afghans face a dual challenge, both in Afghanistan and Pakistan. On the one hand, Afghans are being arrested and deported on the orders of the Sindh government, reported Peace for Asia.

(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

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