The Foreign Office on Tuesday refuted the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on Afghan refugees and termed it as "misplaced and removed from facts and realities on ground".

The FO, in a statement, said the report lacks objectivity.

"Exaggerated contentions and baseless allegations of coercion are particularly disappointing and irresponsible, being counter-productive to the objective of harmony and goodwill between the refugees and the host communities as well as the shared goal of dignified voluntary returns," said the FO's statement.

The statement added that it was regrettable the report was lacking a larger perspective and the historical context in which Pakistan and its people have hosted millions of Afghan refugees in a generous and gracious manner.

The FO further added that international assistance and attention for the cause has dwindled over the years and Pakistan has "shouldered this huge responsibility largely on its own".

"Pakistan’s exemplary role has been recognised and appreciated by the international community. This has also been repeatedly acknowledged by Afghanistan and the United Nations including at the highest levels."

"Pakistan believes that return of Afghans to their homeland in dignity and honour will go a long way in promoting durable peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region," and added that there is wide recognition in the international community for this goal.

The HRW report had called on the Pakistani government to avoid recreating conditions in 2017 that coerced the involuntary return of refugees to Afghanistan in 2016.

In its report titled "Pakistan Coercion, UN Complicity: The Mass Forced Return of Afghan Refugees", the HRW asked the government of Pakistan to end police abuse, revert to its earlier policy of extending Proof of Registration cards by at least two years, avoid creating anxiety about deportation of Afghans and allow undocumented Afghan refugees seeking protection to request and obtain it in Pakistan.

HRW in its report claimed that the primary research was supplemented by UN reports presenting the reasons thousands of Afghans gave for returning to Afghanistan.

The report also said no new Afghan refugees have registered in Pakistan since 2007 despite lack of meaningful improvement in human rights conditions in Afghanistan.



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