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Pakistan orders 1.7 million Afghans to leave the country

2023-10-04 08:50:00, Kosova & Bota CNA
Pakistan orders 1.7 million Afghans to leave the country
Illustrative photo

Pakistan's government has ordered all Afghan asylum seekers without refugee status, about 1.7 million, to leave the country by November.

The increase in the number of attacks by militants along the border between the two states this year has resulted in escalation of tensions.

Pakistan has said that operatives based in Afghanistan are responsible for the attacks, but this accusation has been denied by the Taliban regime.

Last week, an explosion in the town of Mastung, near the border with Afghanistan, killed at least 55 people during a religious festival. The Pakistani Interior Minister, Sarfraz Bugti, did not mention that attack, or others like it, when he presented the decision against "illegal" Afghans.

The right to seek asylum in a foreign country is guaranteed by international law.

Pakistan has sheltered hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees - especially since the return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan in 2021.

About 1.3 million Afghans have registered as refugees, while another 880,000 have obtained legal status to stay in the country, according to the United Nations.

However, about 1.7 million more Afghans live in Pakistan "illegally", said Minister Bugti, referring to those who have not acquired refugee status.

Pakistani authorities have also said that from November 1 they will increase border restrictions between the two countries - saying that only visitors with visas and passports will be able to cross.

It has now become a tradition for Afghans to cross the border with Pakistan only with identity cards./ Rel

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