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Amnesty International: Afghan refugees stranded in Pakistan

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Kabul: Agnes Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on December 15, demanded to address the problems of Afghan immigrants and refugees in this country.

Agnes Callamard’s letter states that Pakistan does not have national laws to protect refugees and does not have a clear procedure for determining refugee status.

In the open letter of the Secretary General of Amnesty International, it is stated that due to the lack of national laws in Pakistan to support the status of refugees, Afghans have been left in a limbo and there is no path in front of them that they can follow regularly.

In her letter she stated that without legal documents, Afghans living in Pakistan are mostly unable to access housing, they cannot open bank accounts and also can’t get their own SIM cards due to lack of identification documents and Pakistan policies.

The Secretary General of Amnesty International stated in her letter that because many of the newly arrived immigrants from Afghanistan to Pakistan were human rights activists, journalists and former government employees of this country, their departure from Pakistan may endanger their lives.

In this letter, Agnes Kalamar emphasized that the government of Pakistan should also protect the rights of refugees for freedom of expression and to hold peaceful assemblies and gatherings, and the detention of refugees under the pretext of not having documents should be stopped.

This is despite the recent increase in the arrest of Afghan immigrants without residency documents by the Pakistani police, and thousands of citizens have been forcibly deported from Pakistan.

Last week, the government of Pakistan has given 16 days to the migrants whose visas have expired to leave the country. According to this plan, which Islamabad called “amnesty plan for foreign nationals”, this category of immigrants has been warned that if they stay longer than the specified period, they will be imprisoned and their names will be blacklisted for reentering Pakistan.

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