ISLAMABAD — Afghanistan’s Taliban Wednesday urged Pakistan to review its plans to expel Afghan immigrants, rejecting charges the displaced community is involved in the security problems facing the neighboring country.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid released the statement a day after the Pakistani government ordered undocumented immigrants, including more than 1.7 million Afghans, to leave the country by November 1.
Interior Minister Sarfaraz Bugti told a news conference in Islamabad Tuesday that “illegal immigrants” who stay in Pakistan beyond the deadline would be arrested and deported to their respective countries.
“The behavior of Pakistan against Afghan refugees is unacceptable. The Pakistani side should reconsider its plan,” Mujahid said on X, formerly Twitter.
“Afghan refugees are not involved in Pakistan’s security problems. As long as they leave Pakistan voluntarily, that country should tolerate them,” the Taliban spokesman wrote.
Bugti defended Pakistan’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants, saying that Afghan nationals carried out 14 of the 24 suicide bombings that have taken place in Pakistan this year. He added that eight of the 11 militants who recently raided two Pakistani military installations were Afghans.
“We are coming under attacks from Afghanistan, and we have evidence showing that Afghans are involved in the violence,” the Pakistani minister said.
He clarified that more than 1.4 million Afghans residing in Pakistan as officially designated refugees and at least 850,000 Afghan citizen card holders are not the crackdown target.
Hafiz Muhibullah, the chief Taliban diplomat at Afghanistan’s consulate in the northwestern city of Peshawar, said an entire community should not be punished for an individual’s criminal act.
Source : VOA News