Student reacts to Pakistani push for deporting Afghans

Pakistan has begun a mass deportation of undocumented Afghans living in the country illegally, including thousands of people who fled the Taliban’s rule and face their persecution at home after the country fell to the Taliban two years ago after American troops left Afghanistan.

Adeen Mohsin, a college student in Pakistan, shared her thoughts on the recent deportation of Afghans from the country. 

“It’s sad, you know. These Afghans, they’ve been here for so long, and suddenly they have to leave. It’s not easy for anyone. I get it, though. I mean, if you don’t have the right papers, you can’t just stay. It’s like being in someone’s house without an invitation,” Mohsin said, “but kicking them all out just like that? It’s harsh. They have families, lives here.

“Some argue that it revolves around issues of legality, documentation and the lack of proper papers. Honestly, not everyone falls into that category, but many are simply trying to make ends meet,” she said. “It’s essential to recognize the complexities surrounding immigration, but there are concerns about the impact on the country when individuals without legal status or proper documentation are present.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan authorities have said they have been unable to manage the TTP attacks and had instead decided to expel Afghans in a response intended to force Kabul to act against the terrorist group. 

“When they go back to Afghanistan, what will happen? Especially to the women. It’s not easy for women there. Here, at least, they can work and have a bit more freedom,”  Mohsin said. “Sending them back is like taking away their rights.”

Amnesty International’s findings raised concerns about the lack of transparency and due process in recent detentions and deportations.  Mohsin said, “The complete lack of transparency, due process and accountability is troubling. We need to be humane about this.”

The existence of deportation centers without specified legal frameworks and the denial of legal rights to detainees also caught Mohsin’s attention. “Detention centers without proper legal rights violate the right to liberty and a fair trial,” she said.

Addressing concerns about harassment and hostility against Afghan refugees,  Mohsin said, “It’s affecting us, too, you know. Some businesses relied on them, and now everything is messed up. It’s like a chain reaction, affecting everyone around.”

Mohsin also echoed Amnesty International’s call for a more compassionate approach. “I agree we need rules, but can’t there be a better way? Maybe a process to help those who are really in need? Not everyone is a threat.”

Expressing hope for a better future, she said, “It’s affecting us all. Let’s hope for a better future, for all of us.”

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