Pashtuns Racial Profiling in Sindh after Zardari's remarks

Pashtuns Racial Profiling in Sindh after Zardari's remarks

KARACHI: The issue of racial profiling of Pashtuns has arised in Sindh after the episode of Punjab.

Begum Naseem Wali-led faction of Awami National Party (ANP-Wali) has accused the Sindh police of arresting Pashtuns in the province under the pretext of a crackdown against illegal refugees.

Addressing a press conference here at Karachi Press Club on Wednesday, ANP-W General Secretary Qasim Jan said Pashtuns born and raised in Pakistan are being arrested in the guise of an operation against Afghan refugees.

The crackdown gained momentum after former president Asif Ali Zardari urged Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to take up the issue of Afghan nationals living in Sindh and get them out of the province and the country.

“We have suffered a lot at their (Afghans) hands,” Zardari said.

The chief minister told Zardari that the provincial government has launched an operation aiming to evict illegal refugees from the province.

According to the UNHCR, around 1.3 million Afghan refugees are residing in Pakistan and off them around 60,000 registered are living in Sindh province.

Later, talking to Samaa, Qasim Jan said dozens of mine workers from Lakhra had been unlawfully arrested from Hyderabad, Jamshoro and other parts of Sindh.

“Police stop vehicles and arrest the Pashtuns. They (Pashtuns) are set free only after they bribe the officials,” alleged Qasim Jan.

Lakhra coal mine is located in Jamshoro district situated about 18 kilometers from Hyderabad.

Qamuz Gul Khattak, the General Secretary of Lakhra Labour Union, claimed that Pakistani Pashtuns are being declared Afghanis by police and when they show them their CNICs, the police declare these as fake and demand bribe.

“The authorities need to know that every Pathan is not an Afghani,” said Khattak, adding that by taking such unlawful actions authorities are spreading hatred.