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HRW Urges Pakistan To End Abuses Against Afghans

Afghan refugees clash with Islamabad's Capital Development Authority (CDA) workers during an operation to demolish Afghan refugees illegal shelters in July.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on Pakistan's government to take steps to end “rampant police harassment, threats, and violence” against Afghans.

Some 1.5 million registered Afghan refugees and 1 million undocumented Afghans are estimated to be living in Pakistan.

In a report published on November 18, the New York-based group said they are viewed with deep suspicion inside Pakistan and are routinely accused by authorities of harboring militants.

"The Pakistani police's outrageous mistreatment of Afghans over the past year calls for an immediate government response," said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at HRW. "The Pakistani government should press the police to apprehend perpetrators of atrocities instead of scapegoating the entire Afghan community."

Police abuses have prompted fearful Afghans to restrict their movements, leading to economic hardship and curtailing access to education and employment, HRW said.

With reporting by AFP