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Why Pakistan Deports Afghan Refugees?

© AP Photo / Ebrahim NorooziAfghan refugees settle in a camp near the Torkham Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Torkham, Afghanistan, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023.
Afghan refugees settle in a camp near the Torkham Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Torkham, Afghanistan, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 10.04.2024
Pakistan is continuing its crackdown on Afghan refugees and migrants. According to a report by Amnesty International, Islamabad is once again planning to deport 67,000 Afghan migrants after Eid ul Fitar.
Amid escalating border tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan, officials announced that Islamabad would launch a new drive to deport Afghan migrants from the country starting next month.
According to reports, the Interior Minister of Pakistan's Sindh province is to implement the second round of the plan to deport thousands of refugees back to Afghanistan. However, following Pakistan's recent decision, international organisations have again urged Pakistan to stop the repatriation of Afghan refugees. They say the lives of the repatriated refugees, especially women and girls, are at risk.
However, Islamabad says it has decided to deport Afghan nationals because it believes they are behind attacks, smuggling and other crimes on its territory.

Security Concerns or Political Leverage?

Tensions have escalated since the Taliban* government came to power. Islamabad has accused the Taliban government in Kabul of harbouring militants and allowing them to strike with impunity on Pakistani soil. Kabul has repeatedly denied the accusations.

"The deportation of Afghan refugees is due to the increase in terrorism and criminal activities in Pakistan. Afghan citizens have been found by law enforcement agencies to be involved in these criminal and terrorist acts," Umair Aslam, the CEO of Global defence Insight, a security and geopolitical analyst, told Sputnik News.

"Likewise, Afghans have been causing disruptions in Pakistan's internal security. Some Afghans have even obtained privileges by falsely posing as Pakistanis, but have been involved in sharing sensitive documents and creating issues. As a result, law enforcement agencies have dismissed those individuals," he added.

Balancing Security Concerns

Islamabad has cited security concerns and economic pressure for the crackdown, but analysts told New Arab News that it was intended to put pressure on the Taliban government over militancy along the border.

"The government of Pakistan has already declared that after Eid, it will be sending 67,000 Afghan refugees back to Afghanistan. This shouldn't be be labeled as any bargaining chip to pressurize interim set-up of Taliban and TTP** & TTA for a meaningful negotiations," he stated," Dr. Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan, an Expert, Executive Director at the Center for South Asia & International Studies (CSAIS) told Sputnik India.

"Pakistan has historically been at the forefront of hosting the largest number of Afghan refugees and has endured consequences for its safety, security, and economic well-being. Therefore, the portrayal by Western media of this repatriation as some form of blackmail is baseless," he continued.
He further mentioned that recent terrorist attacks by the TTP, frequent terrorist incursions from Afghanistan, trade disruptions, and severe cross-border shelling have prompted Pakistan's policymakers to expedite the return of Afghan refugees.
Khan emphasized that this decision aims to focus on geo-security, not geopolitical strategies, to improve Pakistan's law, order, peace, and stability.
This comes a day after senior Taliban leaders urged the Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Islamabad to sit down and negotiate peace. But Pakistan has now rejected the proposal. They have urged Kabul to take action against terrorist groups operating from its soil.
Afghan refugees  - Sputnik India, 1920, 25.03.2024
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Pakistan Gears Up for Second Phase of Afghan Repatriation Amid Data Collection Deadline
*The Taliban is under UN sanctions for extremism.
**A terrorist organization banned in Russia and India.
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