Inside Story

Why is Pakistan forcing Afghan refugees back home?

Pakistan is criticised for forcibly returning thousands of Afghan refugees.

Thousands of people born and raised in Pakistan are being forced to uproot their lives and go to Afghanistan, a country they have never known. 

After decades of hosting Afghan refugees, the Pakistani government says it is making them leave because they pose a security threat.

Around 600,000 have moved back to Afghanistan.

The Pakistani government policy has been criticised by rights groups for months.

Now, Human Rights Watch is going after the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), accusing it of complicity in the alleged abuse.

What is behind the mass forced return? And how is Afghanistan dealing with the influx?

Presenter: Sami Zeidan


Fawzia Koofi – Afghan member of parliament

Ayaz Wazir – Former Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan

Ariane Rummery – Senior communications officer, UNHCR