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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Analysts warn that Pakistan’s anti-migrant crackdown dangers radicalizing deported Afghans

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ISLAMABAD — ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Pakistani authorities’s crackdown on undocumented migrants and mass deportations to Afghanistan threat radicalizing those that have been pressured in a foreign country — usually returning to deplorable situations again residence, analysts and consultants stated Thursday.

Greater than 250,000 Afghans have left Pakistan in current weeks as the federal government rounded up, arrested and kicked out international nationals with out papers. The drive largely impacts Afghans who make up nearly all of foreigners residing in Pakistan, though authorities say that each one who’re within the nation illegally are focused.

Hundreds are crossing the border day by day into Afghanistan with few or no belongings, enduring harsh situations till they’re relocated inside a rustic they left to hunt a greater life.

The mistreatment might result in their radicalization by fueling hatred for Pakistan, stated Zahid Hussain, an analyst of militancy and creator of a number of books, together with “Frontline Pakistan: The Wrestle with Militant Islam.”

There ought to have been an settlement between Islamabad and the Taliban-led authorities in Kabul to keep away from a backlash, added Hussain. As a substitute, Pakistan is detaining and crowding Afghans in holding facilities.

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“It creates hate … and a few of them might be radicalized in opposition to Pakistan after they return residence,” Hussain instructed The Related Press.

The pressured expulsions will additional pressure relations between the 2 sides, and a brand new “wave of hate” arising from the deportations would be the results of the federal government’s flawed coverage, he added.

“Do you assume those that are being pressured to return to Afghanistan are completely happy?” Hussain requested rhetorically. “They don’t seem to be completely happy, they’ll carry hate in opposition to Pakistan for a very long time.”

Pakistan ought to rethink the crackdown whereas there’s nonetheless time to rectify the harm, he urged. “Insurance policies needs to be corrected earlier than issues go uncontrolled.”

Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has stated that a rise in violence in Pakistan is one cause for the deportations.

For the reason that Taliban takeover in Afghanistan in August 2021, assaults have surged on Pakistani safety forces and civilians. Most have been claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, a separate militant group however an in depth ally of the Afghan Taliban.

Kakar and the federal government in Islamabad accuse the Taliban of harboring militants from teams just like the TTP — allegations thet the Taliban deny.

The Taliban-appointed protection minister in Kabul, Muhammad Yaqoob Mujahid, warned final week that Pakistan will reap what it sows.

The Pakistani Taliban are on the offensive, they’re making an attempt to win the “hearts and minds” of Afghans and there’s a probability that some Afghans will grow to be a part of the group and participate in violence in opposition to Pakistan, stated Abdullah Khan, the managing director on the Pakistan Institute for Battle and Safety Research.

Pakistan has lengthy hosted about 1.7 million Afghans, most of whom fled through the 1979-1989 Soviet occupation. As well as, greater than half one million folks fled Afghanistan when the Taliban seized energy within the ultimate weeks of U.S. and NATO pullout.

Khan stated many Afghans had been residing in Pakistan for many years — as if it have been their very own nation.

If the returns have been inevitable, they need to a minimum of have been given sufficient time to wind up their companies, cancel their kids’s faculty admissions and provides discover to their employers earlier than heading to Afghanistan, he stated.

“I’ve a sense that there can be extra assaults by the TTP throughout the nation, and we shouldn’t be stunned if it occurs,” Khan added.

U.N. companies and help teams have stated a lot of those that fled Pakistan to keep away from arrest and deportation have little or no connection to Afghanistan. Many who’ve gone again lack water, meals and shelter as soon as they cross the border.

Some face extra limitations to integration as a result of they don’t converse the native Afghan languages, Pashto and Dari, having discovered English or Urdu whereas residing in Pakistan.

Ahmed Rashid, a journalist and best-selling creator who has written about Pakistan and Afghanistan for greater than 20 years, stated the expulsions can solely profit extremists.

“They (Afghans) really feel victimized and bullied by Pakistan,” Rashid stated. “The coverage will enhance tensions between the Taliban and Pakistan, with militant teams seeking to exploit the state of affairs.”


Related Press author Munir Ahmed in Islamabad contributed to this report.

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