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Unfriendly situation pushes 24,000 Afghan refugees to leave Pakistan

AT Monitoring-KABUL: The International Organization for Migration (IOM) expressed its concerns over sharp increase in Afghan refugees’ repatriation from Pakistan. It said that thousands of Afghan families are repatriating to Afghanistan to escape harassment.

Following the terror attack on a military-run school in Peshawar on 16 December, 2014, Pakistan has adopted a new strategy to use Afghan refugees as scapegoat to appease anger of the public.

The IOM in a media statement said that more than 24,000 undocumented Afghan refugees January entered eastern Nangarhar province through Torkham in January. This was nearly 93 percent of the total number of undocumented Afghans who returned through Torkham during all of 2014.

An official in Afghan embassy in Islamabad said Pakistan has increased pressure on Afghan refugees to leave the country.

An Attaché of the Afghan Refugees Affairs at Afghan Embassy in Islamabad, Misri Khan Momand, told Azadi Radio that Pakistani police mistreat and harass both registered and unregistered Afghan refugees.

“We urged the Minister of Refugees and Repatriation to pay a visit to the Pakistan and resolve the problems faced by Afghan refugees,” Momand said.

Afghan refugees in Pakistan said that Pakistani police harass them, despite having refugee cards. “Pakistani police have arrested 63 Afghans and there is no clue about their whereabouts,” Said an Afghan refugee. He urged the Afghan government to either resolve the issue or pave the ground for their repatriation.

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