In response to Pakistan’s directive to expel approximately 1.7 million foreign nationals, primarily Afghan refugees, schools catering to Afghan children in Pakistan have initiated the process of shutting down, a move that could have a profound impact on Afghan girls’ education, as reported by Khaama Press.
This development is particularly concerning because it may effectively mark the end of formal education for many Afghan girls in the foreseeable future. These closures are a direct consequence of Pakistan’s extensive crackdown on undocumented Afghan nationals living in the country, giving them until October 31 to leave or face mass arrests, as noted by Khaama Press.
The situation has left Afghan families in a precarious position, torn between returning to Afghanistan, where the Taliban government has already prohibited girls from accessing secondary education, and the fear of deportation from Pakistan. Sixteen-year-old Nargis Rezaei, who sought refuge in Pakistan in August 2021 with her family, emphasized the importance of education, saying, “We came here to be educated, to have a good life.” She also pointed out that not every Afghan wishes to return to Afghanistan, especially girls who face limited freedom there.
The repercussions of the fear of deportation are evident in the significant drop in school attendance and a two-thirds decrease in enrollment, leading to the closure of Afghan schools in Pakistan, according to Khaama Press. This mass exodus reflects the dire situation in Afghanistan, where individuals have sought refuge in neighboring countries like Pakistan due to the prevailing uncertainty and instability.
In light of these developments, there is an urgent need for humanitarian assistance and international support to address the needs of Afghan migrants who have been left with no option but to flee their homeland in search of security and a brighter future, as emphasized by Khaama Press.
Since the Pakistan government’s strict ultimatum, setting a November 1 deadline for over 1.7 million undocumented migrants in the country to depart, reports have indicated a growing sense of fear and apprehension among the migrant community in Pakistan. As the deadline approaches, the situation remains critical and requires immediate attention from the international community to ensure the welfare and safety of Afghan refugees.