PESHAWAR: A bench consisting of Chief Justice Mohammad Ibrahim Khan and Justice Wiqar Ahmad disposed of a petition against the ‘harassment’ of Afghans with legal documents to stay in Pakistan as it observed that the federal government only ordered to deportation of illegal Afghans.
Lawyer Saifullah Muhib Kakakhel filed a petition at Peshawar High Court that requested the court to declare that it would be illegal to arrest, detain and harass those Afghan refugees who have proof of registration (PoR), Afghan Citizens cards or other legal documents. He added that the interior ministry should not arrest or book Afghans with PoRs that allow them to be a citizen of Pakistan.
Mr Kakakhel claimed that police were arresting those Afghans who have PoR & AC cards despite the fact that the government announced to take action against illegal migrants. The lawyer added that police asked for heavy bribes to release those refugees who had documentation.
Regarding Afghans married to Pakistanis, the petitioner said that Section 10 of the Citizenship Act allowed Afghan women married to Pakistanis to keep their national citizenship, but the authorities harassed them as well.
Chief Justice Mohammad Ibrahim Khan said that the government had released orders to deport illegal Afghans who illegally stayed in the country. Justice Wiqar added that the petition has to be seen on a case-to-case basis as the government declared that its decision would not be applicable to legal immigrants. The bench disposed of the matter following a decision made by the federal government.
The government of Pakistan has repeatedly said and notified that only unregistered Afghan refugees had to leave the country before November 1 2023, or else they would be deported. In several announcements, it’s been observed that the government has not announced a crackdown against Afghans living in the country with proper documentation.