ISLAMABAD: Afghan Consul General Abdullah Waheed Poyan has alleged that the harassment of Afghan refugees in Pakistan has reached at its peak since the Torkham border dispute broke out last month.
Talking to a local Afghan television, Abdullah Waheed claimed that more than 7,000 Afghan refugees had been arrested by Pakistani police in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province over the past week.
“Unfortunately, after the Torkham dispute, harassment of Afghan refugees has increased to its highest level; therefore, I and the Afghan ambassador talked about the issue with the chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak, in order to address the problem,” Poyan said.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the Pakistani government to reduce rights violations against Afghan refugees by extending their legal residency status until at least December 31, 2017, instead of the current deadline set for December 31, 2016.
“The Pakistani government’s move to extend Afghan refugees’ residency until the end of 2016 sends an important signal to police and local officials that they should not harass or coerce Afghan refugees to leave,” Phelim Kine, HRW’s director deputy for Asia, said in a statement on Thursday.
Pakistan, which neighbors Afghanistan, hosts about 1.5 million registered and about one million undocumented Afghans refugees.