Taliban Minister Raises Refugee Assets Issue During Pakistan Visit
The Afghan embassy in Islamabad has revealed that the Taliban's acting minister for commerce, Haji Nooruddin Azizi, has met with Pakistani top diplomat Jalil Abbas Jilani to discuss trade and the fallout of the decision to expel all undocumented migrants from Pakistan, including hundreds of thous...
The Afghan embassy in Islamabad has revealed that the Taliban's acting minister for commerce, Haji Nooruddin Azizi, has met with Pakistani top diplomat Jalil Abbas Jilani to discuss trade and the fallout of the decision to expel all undocumented migrants from Pakistan, including hundreds of thousands of Afghans, since Nov. 1.1
The statement specifically cited stranded goods in Karachi port and the transfer of properties belonging to refugees, among other related issues. The meeting comes amid claims from deported Afghan citizens that they were facing restrictions on taking assets to their homeland.2
Official figures before Nov. 1 indicated that some 4M Afghan lived in Pakistan — 1.7M of whom lacked valid documents. Since Islamabad started current deportation efforts that primarily affect Afghans, more than 200K refugees have left the country amid arrest and confiscation threats.3
This meeting also comes less than a week after the Pakistani caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar blamed the recent surge in terrorist attacks on the Taliban government in Afghanistan, saying that no actions had been taken against the anti-Pakistan groups despite reassurances from Kabul.4
He stated that terror incidents and suicide bombings in Pakistan have increased by 60% and 500% respectively, since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in 2021. Kakar further claimed that undocumented foreigners have links to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which allegedly fuels terrorism and instability from bases across the border.5
The Taliban denies that militant groups — particularly the TTP — have used Afghan territory to launch attacks into Pakistan, instead blaming Islamabad for failing to deal with internal security problems.6
Narrative A, as provided by The Nation. Pakistan will not compromise in its expulsion of illegal immigrants from the country, a policy that is not exclusive to Afghan nationals. While some complaints have occurred, the exodus of undocumented migrants has on the whole been conducted with respect. Centers providing food and medicine continue to remain open for individuals and families as they prepare for the next step of their life outside of Pakistan.
Narrative B, as provided by Afghanistan Times. While Pakistan claims that its abrupt expulsion of Afghans is about upholding security concerns, Islamabad risks increasing animosity and the potential for exploited disillusioned migrants. By swiftly pushing thousands out of the country without allowing time to prepare for such a reality, despite many potentially having lived there for decades, Pakistan is likely paving the way for future retaliatory actions.