Refugees’ Expulsion and Hurdles in Afghan Transit Trade Create New Tensions

By Admin

Pakistan has given four weeks to all undocumented Afghans to leave the country. New measures have also been announced to curb smuggling under the cover of Afghan transit trade. Afghan traders, refugees in Pakistan and the Taliban government in Kabul have reacted with anger and anguish.

Senior analyst and author Imtiaz Gul says restrictions on Pakistan’s transit trade with Afghanistan and expulsion of Afghan refugees will stoke new tensions with Afghanistan. He says law enforcement agencies’ new powers will lead to harass Afghans and new avenues for corruption. He says these actions will shift Afghanistan’s International trade through Iran’s Chabahar port, which will be loss to Pakistan in trade as we’ll as a new element of tensions with the country’s uneasy relationship with Afghanistan.

Courtesy: Imtiaz Gul Youtube channel

Refugees Expulsion Unacceptable: Kabul

Reacting to Pakistan’s decision, the Taliban interim government spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said that the behavior of Islamabad towards Afghan refugees is “unacceptable”, and he called on Islamabad to reconsider “its plan.”

“Afghan refugees are not involved in Pakistan’s security problems,” Mujahid said. “As long as they leave Pakistan voluntarily, that country should tolerate them,” he wrote on X (formerly Twitter). 

Pakistan on Tuesday (Oct 3) ordered all illegal immigrants, including 1.73 million Afghan nationals, to leave the country.

Islamabad’s announcement marks a new low in its relations with Kabul that deteriorated after clashes alongside the Durand Line between the South Asian neighbors last month.

Interior Minister, Sarfraz Bugti, said they have given Afghan refugees a November 1 deadline to leave, claiming 14 of 24 suicide bombings in the country this year were carried out by Afghan nationals.

Bugti said around 1.73 million Afghan nationals in Pakistan had no legal documents to stay, adding a total of 4.4 million Afghan refugees lived in Pakistan.

“There are no two opinions that we are attacked from within Afghanistan and Afghan nationals are involved in attacks on us,” he was quoted by Reuters as saying. “We have evidence.”

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