UN urged to protect Baloch refugees in Afghanistan

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Many of the persecuted Balochs managed to reach the neighbouring country, Afghanistan, after great difficulties…reports Asian Lite News

The United Nations should take immediate steps to protect and secure the lives and future of Baloch refugees in Afghanistan as the security situation in the war-torn country deteriorates, said Baloch National Movement said.

In a statement, Baloch National Movement Chairman Khalil Baloch expressed disappointment that no practical steps are being taken to safeguard those who were persecuted in Pakistan and had to migrate to Afghanistan due to Pakistani atrocities.

Under the 1951 Refugee Convention, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and other parties or host countries are bound to provide protection to any person who seeks refuge from persecution.

Under this proposed international law, no refugee should be sent to a country where his life and his freedom are in grave danger.

Many of the persecuted Balochs managed to reach the neighbouring country, Afghanistan, after great difficulties, the Baloch National Movement said.

The uncertainty in Afghanistan has created an environment of fear and the policies of international organisations of asking the Baloch refugees to risk their lives and travel to Kabul are tantamount to letting them being killed, said the movement.

“We share a common sense of sorrows and joy as neighbours, well-wisher, and long-lasting friends. History has shown that both nations have helped and stood for each other in difficult times,” the statement read.

Afghanistan and Balochistan are linked by geographical and historical ties. Whenever difficult times befell the Afghan nation, Balochistan became their second home and when the Baloch nation faced difficult situations, the Afghan nation opened its doors to us and welcomed the refugees for years, the statement noted.

The Pakistani barbarism of the last two decades has forced millions of Baloch to migrate, many of whom live in different parts of Afghanistan, where they are in a very difficult situation. They do not have access to internationally recognised legal rights and facilities.

In Afghanistan, Pakistan’s ISI has killed several Baloch refugees through its agents. At present, Baloch refugees do not have the support of any international organization, including UNHCR. Afghanistan cannot give state protection to anyone because of its internal situation and instability.

In this context, the Baloch National Movement said: “We believe that the UNHCR and other international agencies should provide protection and facilities for Baloch refugees.”

In the current state of uncertainty in Afghanistan, Baloch refugees are in a very precarious situation.

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