No involuntary repatriation of Afghans

Published December 24, 2014
minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch.—INP
minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch.—INP

ISLAMABAD: Minister for States and Frontier Regions (Safron) retired Lt Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch has rejected a perception that Afghan refugees will involuntarily be sent back to their country after the Peshawar school attack.

Speaking at a news conference along with Maya Ameratunga, acting representative of the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), here on Tuesday, the minister claimed that the registered Afghan refugees had never been found involved in terrorism-related incidents in the country and said they would not be repatriated against their will.

“We are not going to push them forcefully. They will be sent back respectfully on a voluntary basis and according to the timeframe decided upon,” he said, adding that the Afghan refugees had been living peacefully in Pakistan for more than three decades and they respected the country’s laws.

Also read: Number of Afghan refugees in country growing steadily

“We will continue to maintain our traditional hospitality,” Mr Baloch said, adding that Pakistan was a responsible state of the United Nations and was committed to honouring all international agreements signed by it.

He said there were 1.5 million registered Afghan refugees in the country and the number of unregistered refugees was also almost the same. He asked the unregistered refugees to get themselves registered in view of the law and order situation.

The UNHCR’s acting representative said the unregistered Afghans did not enjoy any protected status in Pakistan and they were considered as illegal migrants and the Pakistan government had a sovereign right to take action against them.

Published in Dawn December 24th , 2014

Opinion

The curse of irrelevance
24 Jul 2021

The curse of irrelevance

Fear, in essence, is a powerful de-motivator for those who believe their success lies in lazy public validation...
Good & bad Muslims
Updated 24 Jul 2021

Good & bad Muslims

It is essential to interrogate the wider epidemic of violence.
The Afghan stalemate
Updated 21 Jul 2021

The Afghan stalemate

The Taliban cannot think of ruling Afghanistan without international legitimacy.

Editorial

Cyberattack on rights
Updated 24 Jul 2021

Cyberattack on rights

A COLLABORATIVE investigation into a data leak of software sold by the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group has ...
24 Jul 2021

Sleeper cells

THERE was a time not too long ago when militant groups had unleashed a reign of terror in Pakistan, resulting in...
24 Jul 2021

Prisoners’ return

THE families of 62 Pakistani prisoners who had been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia had reason to rejoice this Eid as...
India’s admission
Updated 21 Jul 2021

India’s admission

It was no secret that India had been manoeuvring behind the scenes to ensure that Pakistan remained on the grey list.
EU headscarf ban
Updated 23 Jul 2021

EU headscarf ban

Moves by the EU to curtail the religious freedoms of Muslims and others in the bloc need to be reviewed.
Disposal of offal
Updated 22 Jul 2021

Disposal of offal

The least people can do is to make an effort and dump entrails in designated areas.