The Federation of Exiled Afghan Journalists in Pakistan (FAJE) has written an open letter to Pakistan’s Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar Haq Kakar expressing concern over the expulsion of Afghan journalists living in the country.
The letter written by the Federation of Afghan Journalists has said that after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan on August 15, 2021, a large number of Afghan journalists had to flee to Pakistan because their lives and property were in danger.
The Federation says that ‘under these circumstances, if the Pakistani police arrest them and send them back to Afghanistan, their lives and those of their families will be in serious danger.’
Pakistan’s Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfaraz Bugti had said in a press conference on October 3 that illegal foreigners are being given a deadline of November 1 to leave the country.
Caretaker Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti had announced that ‘by November 1, they (illegal foreigners) should voluntarily go to their respective countries or else they will be deported.’
According to the data of the Pakistan-Afghan International Forum of Journalists, the number of journalists who fled to Pakistan for fear of punishment after the Taliban came to power in August 2021 was around 650.
The Federation of Exiled Afghan Journalists in Pakistan has further written in its open letter to Caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar that the leadership of FAJE faced massive violence against journalists in Afghanistan. The majority of journalists forced into exile are deprived of resources and jobs.
‘The media where these journalists used to work has been largely destroyed. Their children, especially their girls, do not have access to education.’
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The letter further states that ‘currently two hundred Afghan journalists and media workers are residing in Pakistan, all of whom are members of the federation.’
The organization of Afghan journalists has demanded the Prime Minister to provide protection to these journalists.
FAJE’s open letter also expressed regret over the arrest of Afghan refugees.
The federation says that people who have legal documents were also arrested by the police in several areas. He has requested the government of Pakistan to take notice of the situation.