Pakistani police detained more than 1,250 Afghan refugees in nearly 40 days, the Afghanistan embassy in Pakistan said.
The ambassador of the Islamic Emirate in Pakistan, Sardar Ahmad Shikib, said that efforts are underway to release these people.
“There were some problems in Pakistan, particularly in Karachi and Sindh. Among them, there are Afghans who have refugee cards. They have been living here for a long time, and they are engaged in business. We have received their complaints as well. We are trying to share this issue at a high level with Pakistani officials,” he said.
Munira Kakar, a lawyer for Afghan refugees detained in Pakistan, said that the country’s police have detained over 400 Afghan citizens despite their holding legal documents.
“Many Afghan refugees are detained in Karachi and Sindh jails,” she said.
The Afghanistan consulate in Karachi said that one of the Afghan refugees has died in prison but the body has yet to be transported to Afghanistan.
“His son, named Din Mohammad, was with him and he is currently in the jail. We tried to release his son to take the body ot his father home, but we have not succeeded yet," said Abdul Jabar, the Afghan consulate in Karachi.
The detainees include children and women.
The refugees' rights activists said that the Pakistan police have recently increased detentions of Afghan refugees in Sindh and Karachi.
“The local lawyers said that the people complained that despite their having refugee cards, they are still being harassed by police. There are also some allegations that the police take money from them,” said Tahir Khan, a journalist.
“They have a lot of problems in the jail. The children are in a critical situation. They are sick,” said Hedayatullah Pashteen, a member of the Pashtoon Tahfuz Movement.
The Afghan consulate in Karachi said that 30 Afghan citizens who were detained due to lack of legal documents were released and brought to Afghanistan on Monday.
According to the UNHCR, around 1.3 million Afghan refugees are based in Pakistan.