Afghan refugees fear as Pakistan prepares for deportations
According to Pakistan, 1.7 million of these people must leave by 1 November or they will be arrested and deported. Afghans make up the majority.
Since the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan in 2021, many refugees have fled the country in terror. There are others who have lived in Pakistan for decades.
As of Wednesday midnight, the deadline to leave had expired.
Pakistani media reports, however, that those in transit will be allowed to continue their journeys throughout the day.
One young woman asked, “Where will we go if we have to leave Pakistan?”.
The Taliban government barred girls and women from school under its harsh version of Islamic law, so Sadia fled Afghanistan two years ago for a chance at an education.
If we are forced to leave, I will not be able to continue my education in Afghanistan. My parents, sister, and brother are afraid of the future,” she told Urdu.
Islamabad blames militants based in Afghanistan for the spike in cross-border attacks between the two countries.
Undocumented Afghans are being deported by the Taliban, who deny providing sanctuary to militants targeting Pakistan.
Trucks overflowing with clothes and furniture drove to the border with Afghanistan on Tuesday – the last day for refugees to leave voluntarily or face deportation.
As of Monday, Pakistan reported that close to 200,000 Afghans had returned home. There were reports that 20,000 people traveled to the border on Tuesday as the deadline for voluntary departures passed.