Pakistan's Supreme Court began hearings on Friday on a petition by rights activists seeking to halt forced deportation of Afghan refugees, who were born in Pakistan and those who are at risk if they return to Afghanistan.
Umar Ijaz Gilani, the lawyer representing the rights activists, told Reuters that children born to Afghan families in Pakistan could not be sent back due to their birthright.
"Due to the urgency, as thousands of people are suffering on a daily basis, I've requested the court to take up the case as early as next week," Gilani said.
The petitioners have said that the deportation of Afghan immigrants is outside the jurisdiction of the caretaker government of Pakistan.
Pakistan Supreme Court’s Justice Ayesha A. Malik on Friday observed that Pakistan was bound by the United Nations conventions that protected the rights of refugees.
She passed these remarks as a three-member bench of the apex court took up a petition seeking restraining orders against the caretaker government’s decision to deport illegal Afghan nationals, Dawn newspaper reported.
Meanwhile, the Islamic Emirate said that putting pressure or arresting Afghan immigrants and taking their property is not legal and should be prevented.
"We also ask them to return to their country, but putting pressure or arresting them and taking their property is not legal and should be prevented in any country,” said the Islamic Emirate’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid.
Dawn reported that regarding 109 petitions of Pakistani women seeking Pakistan Origin Cards (POCs) for their Afghan spouses, the Peshawar High Court on Friday ordered the federal government to proceed with their cases in accordance with prescribed rules.
Dawn said that lawyers informed the court that the petitioners had been seeking POCs for their Afghan spouses, who either possessed POR (Proof of Registration) cards or ACC (Afghan Citizenship Cards).
Meanwhile, some Afghan immigrants who have been forcibly deported from Pakistan said that they are facing many challenges as winter approaches.
"Many atrocities were committed against us, all our property was confiscated in Pakistan,” said an Afghan immigrant forcibly deported from Pakistan.
The EU Delegation to Afghanistan approved a new financial aid package worth €142.8 million ($ 155,544,900.00) to strengthen basic services and maintain livelihoods for vulnerable Afghans and migrants.
“The EU’s commitment to stand by the Afghan people remains unwavering. To address their growing basic needs, the EU has mobilised a new support measure. This €142.8 million package will focus on health, nutrition, education, clean water and sanitation, in particular for women, girls, displaced populations and those affected by displacement,” said Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen.
This comes as in the past month, many immigrants from Pakistan have been forced to return to the country, and this action of Pakistan has faced strong internal and external reactions.
Based on the latest figures of the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation (MoRR), so far, more than four hundred thousand Afghan immigrants have returned to the country from Pakistan.