AT Kabul: Afghan refugees deported from Pakistan to Balkh province have reported mistreatment by Pakistani soldiers and expressed grievances about the confiscation of their property during the deportation process. Some families claimed that their relatives are still imprisoned in Pakistan, adding to the distress of the returnees.
Refugees in Balkh voiced their concerns, alleging that they faced harassment and theft by Pakistani soldiers. Instances of property seizure and detainment were highlighted, leading to a negative perception of the treatment they experienced in Pakistan.
Sayed Ilyas, a deported refugee, recounted the ordeal, stating, “There were two men in the house, they took one, and then they took our money; after a lot of harassment, we were deported.”
While the returnees expressed contentment about being back in Afghanistan, they conveyed a reluctance to return to Pakistan even if offered financial incentives. Instead, they called on Afghan authorities to provide employment opportunities and permanent shelter to facilitate their reintegration.
Mohammad Khan, another deported refugee, expressed hope for contributing to the development of their homeland. He stated, “We did not see any benefit from foreign property, now we hope to do something in our country for the future of our homeland and people.”
Zahir Shah, sharing his experience, revealed the financial losses incurred during the deportation process, emphasizing the need for support.
In response to the challenges faced by the returnees, Asadullah Wafa, the head of the Refugees and Repatriation Department in Balkh, assured them of ongoing efforts to create permanent shelters and pledged support from government departments and partner institutions.
Since the initiation of the deportation process by the Pakistani government, approximately 2,500 families, comprising around 8,000 individuals, have been returned to Balkh province, according to the Refugees and Repatriation Department in Balkh.