Human Rights Watch has documented a disturbing series of abuses by Pakistani authorities against Afghan migrants, including the confiscation of property and belongings, home demolitions, and destruction of identification documents.
In a statement released on Tuesday, November 28, Elaine Pearson, the Asia director at Human Rights Watch, condemned the coercive tactics employed by Pakistani authorities. Pearson stated, “Pakistani authorities have created a coercive environment for Afghans to compel them to return to dangerous conditions in Afghanistan.”
The Human Rights Watch report details how Pakistani police conducted nighttime raids on the homes of Afghan migrants, subjecting them to beatings, threats, and detentions. Additionally, the report reveals instances of solicited bribes, and confiscation of jewelry, belongings, and other assets, often followed by the demolition of homes using bulldozers.
Compounding the situation, Pakistani authorities enforce a prohibition on Afghan citizens carrying more than 50,000 Pakistani rupees (175 dollars) out of the country, leaving many migrants returning to Afghanistan in a state of poverty.
Disturbingly, women migrants have reported incidents of sexual harassment and threats of sexual assault by Pakistani police.
Furthermore, the report highlights that Afghan citizens awaiting resettlement in the United States, Britain, and other countries are being forced to pay exorbitant exit fees of 830 dollars by Pakistani authorities.
Elaine Pearson called for an immediate cessation of these abuses, stating, “Authorities must immediately halt the abuses and provide Afghans facing expulsion an opportunity for protection in Pakistan.”
This latest revelation follows earlier accusations by human rights organizations, accusing the Pakistani government of violating human rights through the forced expulsion of undocumented migrants. Islamabad, however, has consistently asserted its right to expel illegal immigrants from the country.