Islamabad: In an ever-shifting world, besieged by crises and uncertainties, the predicament of Afghan refugees emerges as a poignant and immediate concern. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), have jointly delivered a heartfelt entreaty to Pakistan. This appeal is marked by its simplicity yet underscores its profound urgency to safeguard the well-being of vulnerable Afghans who have sought sanctuary within Pakistan’s borders.
UNHCR and @UNmigration are appealing to Pakistan to continue its protection of all vulnerable Afghans who have sought safety in the country and could be at imminent protection risk if forced to return.https://t.co/ijtC9bYphd
— UNHCR Asia Pacific (@UNHCRAsia) October 7, 2023
The exigency of this appeal is rooted in Pakistan’s recent proclamation of intentions to repatriate Afghan nationals to their native land. In the face of this pivotal decision, UNHCR and IOM remain unwavering in their dedication to ensuring the safety and welfare of these refugees.
Afghanistan finds itself mired in an acute humanitarian quagmire, further compounded by an array of human rights quandaries, particularly concerning the female populace. UNHCR and IOM duly acknowledge the gravity of this situation and the dire circumstances that could await those who are compelled to return to Afghanistan under duress. For many who have fled their homeland, the prospect of involuntary repatriation raises palpable concerns regarding their safety and protection.
Recognizing Pakistan’s sovereign jurisdiction in shaping domestic policies, administering its populace, and ensuring public safety and security is paramount. UNHCR and IOM have painstakingly cultivated a robust, longstanding partnership with the Government of Pakistan. They are poised to extend their support in crafting a comprehensive and sustainable framework for registering and overseeing Afghan nationals, especially those in need of international safeguards.
Pakistan’s enduring hospitality toward Afghan nationals spanning more than four decades, despite myriad challenges, garners profound appreciation from UNHCR and IOM. Their appeal underscores the imperative of assuring that any repatriations transpire on a voluntary basis, in a manner that is secure and preserves dignity, untainted by any semblance of coercion. The prospect of involuntary repatriation of Afghan nationals harbors the potential for gravely violating human rights, encapsulated in the heart-wrenching scenario of family separations and the deportation of minors.
Furthermore, UNHCR and IOM maintain their steadfast call to all nations, not exclusive to Pakistan, for the suspension of compulsory repatriations of Afghan nationals. Their plea, while succinct, resounds profoundly: any prospective returns to Afghanistan must be executed in a manner that prioritizes safety, dignity, and voluntariness. It stands as an impassioned call to uphold the core principles of humanity, compassion, and global solidarity.
At the heart of this predicament lies the destiny of myriad Afghan families who have fled their homeland in the face of conflict and instability. They are ordinary individuals confronting exceptional challenges, their aspirations and dreams mirroring those of the broader human tapestry. The refugee experience is a testament to resilience and determination, and it remains an onus on the global community to provide unwavering support and safeguard these vulnerable souls.
As we contemplate the dire circumstances encountered by Afghan refugees, it is imperative to recognize that they are not mere statistics but human beings, replete with stories, dreams, and hopes. UNHCR and IOM’s appeal serves as a poignant reminder that compassion and empathy should guide our actions, particularly when confronted with times of adversity.
In the face of adversities, the world must unite to ensure the security and well-being of Afghan refugees. UNHCR and IOM’s plea constitutes a clarion call to action, an impassioned entreaty for humanity to emerge triumphant. It underscores the interconnected nature of our global landscape, where the destiny of one invariably ripples through us all. By steadfastly upholding the tenets of protection, dignity, and voluntariness, we can collectively forge a meaningful difference in the lives of those who have sought refuge and sanctuary in Pakistan and far beyond.