The Afghan authorities are seeking international aid to manage the huge refugee influx as neighbouring Pakistan is expelling hundreds of thousands of Afghan nationals.
“We call on international community (including) Muslim countries to help,” the Islamic Emirate’s candidate to the UN, Suhail Shaheen, told Anadolu Agency, pointing to the rush of incoming refugees through border openings with Pakistan in Torkham and Spin Boldak.
“It is a humanitarian issue,” Shaheen emphasised, adding that around 300,000 undocumented Afghan refugees have returned to Afghanistan since November 1.
Last month, Islamabad announced that all undocumented foreigners, primarily Afghan refugees, would be deported, with an October 31 deadline.
Shaheen said the Pakistani government gave “a short notice” to Afghans to leave the nation.
He said the incoming refugees are in urgent need “for their settlement, food, drinking water, blankets, and tents.”
The international community “can help Afghan refugees who have been deprived of their many properties in Pakistan … even they have been harassed by police and security forces of Pakistan,” he argued.
“Now, they are inside Afghanistan and this is where the international community can help.”
The refugee influx into Afghanistan comes at a time when the IEA is working to fix the economy, and while no nation has recognised the administration and international funding has dried up.
Nearly one million people are targeted under what Islamabad calls the “Illegal Foreigners Repatriation Plan” – most of whom are Afghans.
The UN and the Afghan administration have urged Islamabad to halt such plans.
The IEA has formed 12 committees – Shaheen is part of media committee – to overlook repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan. They have established tent cities in the two border cities to receive their citizens.
The United Arab Emirates, according to the Afghan authorities, have shipped around 20,000 tents for the incoming refugees.
In the first four days from the beginning of November, more than 60% of arrivals from Pakistan were children, data by the UN humanitarian office revealed.
“Their condition is desperate, with many having traveled for days, unclear of where to return to and stranded at the border,” it said on Tuesday, calling for urgent funding to provide immediate post-arrival assistance to the refugees.
Meanwhile, Shaheen rejected Pakistan’s accusation that militancy inside the South Asian neighbour of Kabul was because of Afghanistan.
“The security problem in Pakistan has not been (there) since the last two years. “It has been there for last 20 years in Pakistan,” Shaheen told Anadolu.
Early on Wednesday, Pakistan’s interim Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar claimed that “militant attacks” in the country increased by 60% since the Afghan Taliban reclaimed power in August 2021.
“During the last two years when the Afghan Taliban returned to power, terrorist attacks have increased by 60% while suicide attacks increased by 500% in Pakistan,” Kakar said in Islamabad, adding that 2,267 Pakistanis lost their lives in those attacks.
Kakar said Islamabad shared “all the details” with the Afghan interim government, “but they did not take action against TTP terrorists who are living in Afghanistan and using that soil against us.”
“It is not something made by the government in Kabul,” Shaheen replied. “They (Pakistan) have the same problem. Those attacks are happening 200 kilometers (124 miles) inside the country,” he said of Pakistan, which has faced mounting attacks by the homegrown Tehreek-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan (TTP) group.
“We have told them (Pakistan) to please produce some evidence on it (use of Afghan soil) so we can take action but we are hearing only accusation through the media,” Shaheen said, reiterating Kabul’s commitment that Afghan soil will not be used against Pakistan or any other country.
The TTP is a conglomeration of several Pakistani militant groups that Islamabad claims are currently inside Afghanistan.
Kabul, however, denies that its soil is being used against Islamabad.