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Pakistan must end rampant police abuse

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New York, Nov.18 : Pakistan’s government should take all necessary measures to end the rampant police harassment, threats, and violence against Afghans living in Pakistan, Human Rights Watch said today in a new report.

Incidents of police abuses against Afghans have skyrocketed since the Pakistani Taliban attacked a school in Peshawar in December 2014, and is prompting many Afghans to return to war-torn Afghanistan and possibly seek asylum in Europe.

“The Pakistani police’s outrageous mistreatment of Afghans over the past year calls for an immediate government response. The Pakistani government should press the police to apprehend perpetrators of atrocities instead of scapegoating the entire Afghan community,” said Phelim Kine, Deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

The 37-page report, “‘What Are You Doing Here?’: Police Abuses against Afghans in Pakistan,” documents myriad rights violations against Afghans in Pakistan since December 2014. The Pakistani government is obligated to ensure that all law enforcement and other government officials treat Afghans living in Pakistan with dignity and respect for their human rights in compliance with domestic and international law. Ending police abuses and ensuring that Afghans are treated fairly should be a first step toward formulating a viable legal framework to manage the Afghan population in Pakistan.

Human Rights Watch interviewed 50 Afghans who had returned to Afghanistan after living many years in Pakistan, and 46 Afghans living in Pakistan, as well as Pakistani and Afghan government officials, staff of nongovernmental and community-based organizations, United Nations refugee agency officials, diplomats, journalists, and other experts. (ANI)