Afghan refugees lack legal protection: HRCP
The News International, March 31, 2001
60 Afghans handed over to Kabul authorities
The News International,
March 29, 2001
PESHAWAR: The political administration of tribal areas has handed over 60 Afghan refugees to Taliban authorities on the Torkham border for staying illegally in Pakistan, an official source said here Wednesday.
Frontier police, the source said, had arrested 35 Afghans for staying illegally and the Khasadar force had arrested 25 others on the same ground. The source said the police had handed over the 35 persons to the political authorities who handed them over to Afghan authorities on the border, along with the 25 Afghans arrested by the Khasadar force.
ISLAMABAD: Following the deportation of an additional 130 Afghan to their country this week, the chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Afrasiyab Khattak, has called for Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
He criticized the government and UNHCR for what he called their apathy in dealing with the problem. "Pakistan internally does not have any laws dealing with refugees, nor is it a signatory to the Geneva Convention of 1951 or the Geneva Protocol of 1967 with regard to refugees," Khattak told the Integrated Regional Information Network.
How can be deported then? Deportation is a penalty which can only be ordered by a court, but the police are arbitrarily deporting these people without any legal process, Khattak said and added: "UNHCR is supposed to protect people from forced deportations, and these deportations themselves are against the Pakistan's law."
"The main party denying Afghans legal protection is the Pakistani government, while the UN is also particularly passive in this regard," he commented.
Moreover there was no government in Afghanistan capable of looking after its citizens abroad, he said. -SANA
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