KARACHI: A letter written to PM Shehbaz Sharif by Dr. Agnès Callamard, Secretary-General of Amnesty International on Friday, addressed grave concern over the plight of Afghan refugees face in Pakistan.
In the letter, it was noted that the government of Pakistan lacked knowledge and implementation of comprehensive law to safeguard Afghan refugees with a proper system. Adding further, Callamard pointed out, that numerous Afghans are residing in Pakistan without any legal record which makes them difficult to rent a house from landlords. Moreover, she said, they are unable to open any bank accounts, as well as no sim cards, are issued in their names.
Further, she said as per the laws of Pakistan, Afghan citizens are to leave the country every two months with an exit stamp on their passports. Many who arrived as an immigrant in Pakistan are either journalists, activists or former government employees. Their departure from Pakistan and return to Afghanistan can pose a threat to their lives.
The letter also emphasized that the Pakistani government should ensure the rights and freedom of refugees. The letter also stressed that their arrests should immediately come to an end.
The letter came as the Afghan immigrants in Pakistan are struggling for identity and have been facing various challenges including the lack of attention from the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) in terms of unemployment, detention, imprisonment, and discrimination.
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