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Pakistan expelling Afghan refugees back to war, poverty - Human Rights Watch

Pakistan expelling Afghan refugees back to war, poverty - Human Rights WatchA human rights group charged Monday that the Pakistan is forcing hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees back to their homeland, which is still beset by war and crushing poverty.

This is reported by Associated Press.

The report also said that a $400 stipend the United Nations refugee agency gives to refugees who return to Afghanistan is tantamount to a bribe to convince reluctant Afghans to leave Pakistan.

"The exodus amounts to the world's largest unlawful mass forced return of refugees in recent times," the Human Rights Watch report says.

Both the U.N. and Pakistan denied the allegations. Indrika Ratwatte, Pakistan's country representative for the U.N. refugee agency, said there were police harassment and arrests of Afghan refugees in mid-2016, particularly in the border province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but it was ended and refugees who returned, went home voluntarily.

"There were incidences of pressure and harassment especially in KP but they were addressed," said Ratwatte. "But does it amount to forced return. No. it doesn't."

Still, the report was harsh in its criticism of the U.N. agency for not condemning what it insisted is Pakistan's forced return of the refugees.
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