ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan slammed Pakistan for the treatment meted out to its nationals, saying the decision to expel refugees was “unilateral” as it was taken by Islamabad without consulting Kabul.
In an audio clip shared on social media, Afghanistan’s interim defence minister, Mullah Muhammad Yaqub Mujahid, criticised Pakistan’s caretaker government, headed by a military-sponsored prime minister of Pashtun-origin, Anwaarul Haq Kakar, for failing to consider the consequences of its action expelling refugees.
“The decision of Pakistan regarding the Afghan refugees … we do not accept it at all,” the Afghan minister said.
Mujahid, son of Mullah Omar, the slain founder of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan, called on Islamabad not to use force or cruel tactics against Afghans returning to their homeland. He urged the Pakistani authorities not to seize their properties and assets.
“They (Pakistan) cannot do this by any law or regulation. Such actions will be questioned,” he said. “We will do our best to prevent this and will not allow anyone to confiscate and steal personal properties (sic) of our Afghan brothers.”
He also called on the international community, the UN and other organisations to pressure Pakistan to stop its “arrogant” actions against refugees. “Even if it (Pakistan) sends refugees (back) to their country, they should return them with dignity,”he said.
Mujahid warned that the ongoing situation will seriously damage relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan. “So the Pakistani administration should think about the consequences of its actions. It should plant as much as it can fix,” he noted.
The refugees arriving in Afghanistan complained of the hardships they had to face while exiting Pakistan.
Pakistan, meanwhile, said it opened more border centres on Friday to expedite the return of tens of thousands of undocumented Afghan nationals, ignoring calls by refugee groups to reconsider the mass expulsion.
The administration of Pakistan’s Khyber tribal region bordering Afghanistan said 19,744 Afghans out of 147,949 had crossed the border on Thursday since the government announced the deadline. More than 35,000 undocumented Afghans have left through the Chaman border crossing in Balochistan province.
Islamabad claims that 1.7 million of the more than four million Afghans living in Pakistan are undocumented.

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