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Wolesi Jirga slams Foreign Minister for failure to appear

AT-KABUL: Amid growing concerns about critical status of Afghan asylum seekers and their forcible deportation from European countries, the Lower House of the parliament announced Saturday that it would interpellate foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani.

Lawmakers in their plenary session summoned Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi, minister of refugees and repatriation and Salahuddin Rabbani, minister of foreign affairs to illustrate information about the condition of Afghan refugees in the European countries.

Minister of refugees and repatriates participated in the illustration session, but minister of foreign affairs did not participate because a “sudden trip to abroad”.

Rabbani’s absence in the session sparked criticisms of the lawmakers who called it an “intentional disregard for the people’s representatives”.

The lawmakers claimed that ministry of foreign affairs has not any obvious policy to support Afghan refugees who are in critical condition.

A member of parliament Aref Rahmani said that forcible deportation of the refugees is violation of international laws, but recently, some countries including Turkey have decided to deport Afghan refugees by force.

“Deportation of refugees in such hard condition is a great risk for both Afghan government and the refugees, therefore, the host countries should respect international laws and agreements about human rights,”
Rahmani said.

So far 250,000 Afghans have immigrated to Europe due to insecurity, joblessness and corruption. It is said that those Afghans whose asylum applications were rejected, would be deported to by the European countries.

The Amnesty International expressed concerns over compulsory deportation of Afghan refugees from Turkey, calling it violation of international laws. The organization said that Turkey has so far deported 30 Afghan refugees forcibly.

Another lawmaker Jafar Mahdawi said that President Ashraf Ghani in his trip to Europe agreed with the countries to deport the Afghan refugees to their country.

“Escape of 250,000 Afghans to European countries is failure of the National Unity Government which could not provide the public services in the last one and half year,” he mentioned.

Absence of foreign minister in the session made the Lower House to interpellate him in the next meeting.

Speaker of the Lower House Abdul Raouf Ibrahimi asked lawmakers to interpellate Salahuddin Rabbani for inattention about Afghan refugees’ rights.

“In the next plenary session, Rabbani will attend as interpellated minister and Alemi will be answering your questions,” he said.

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