Pakistan has issued an order for 1.7 million Afghans residing in the country without proper documentation to depart by November 1, or face deportation.
In anticipation of the approaching deadline, the establishment of a series of holding centers across the nation is underway, marking an unprecedented crackdown, according to human rights groups and legal experts.
Over the course of several decades of conflict, millions of Afghans have sought refuge in Pakistan, resulting in one of the world’s largest refugee populations.
However, since the Taliban assumed control in August 2021, relations between the two nations have steadily deteriorated. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of Afghans have crossed the border into Pakistan since then.
Pakistan has justified the deportations as necessary to safeguard the country’s “welfare and security,” with growing anti-Afghan sentiment amid prolonged economic challenges and an increase in cross-border conflicts.
The Afghan embassy in Islamabad has condemned Pakistan’s decision as “harassment.”