Ravina Shamdasani, the spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), on Friday, said that Pakistan’s plan to deport the “undocumented” remaining foreign nationals in the country after November 1 should be suspended as it disproportionately impacts more than a million undocumented Afghans who will remain in Pakistan post the final deadline.Since the initial announcement of the mass deportation plan on October 3 this year, more than 59,780 individuals have left Pakistan to go back to Afghanistan, citing fear of arrest as the reason, according to a flash report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees  (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Over two million Afghans are living in Pakistan without proper documentation, among which at least 600,000 of them fled Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover in August 2021.Many of those who are facing the risk of deportation are potentially in danger of being subjected to human rights abuses upon their return to Afghanistan. Shamdasani said that “at particular risk are civil society activists, journalists, human rights defenders, former government officials and security force members, and of course women and girls as a whole,” recalling “abhorrent policies” banning them from secondary and university education, working in many sectors and other aspects of daily and public life.Pakistan’s plan of mass deportation may lead to potential violations of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and other international human rights laws to which Pakistan is a party. Shamdasani noted that as Afghanistan already grapples with a dire humanitarian crisis, these mass deportations will worsen the condition as winter approaches.

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