World Bulletin / News Desk
Two weeks after Afghan-based militants were blamed for an attack in Pakistan which claimed over 100 lives, Afghan authorities Saturday asked Islamabad to keep politics out of the refugee issue.
The Afghan Ministry of Repatriation and Refugees made the plea after thanking Pakistan for its longstanding hospitality towards refugees and extending their stay till the end of 2017.
The request follows reports of renewed persecution of Afghan refugees and citizens in neighboring Pakistan after Islamabad closed the main crossing points between the two countries. Ties between the two Muslim-majority nations hit a new all-time low after the Feb. 17 attack on a shrine in the southern Sindh province.
In a statement, the ministry acknowledged that Pakistan has been hosting millions of Afghans for decades, and that up to 1.3 million registered Afghan refugees and 60,000 other undocumented Afghans are still living there.
“Reports received by the Afghan Ministry of Repatriation and Refugees suggest Pakistani citizens as well as a number of Afghan refugees have been persecuted and forcefully deported by Pakistani security forces after the latest terrorist attacks,” it said.
Torkham and Chaman – the two main crossing points between the two countries, frequented by thousands of crossers – remained closed for a ninth day on Saturday. Regular commuters at these crossing points, particularly those in Pakistan for short medical visits or social engagements as well as businesspeople, are bearing the brunt of the closure’s impact.Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Şubat 2017, 22:36