Hollywood actor and humanitarian Angelina Jolie said she was “saddened” by the sudden removal of over a million “suffering Afghan people” from Pakistan, in an Instagram post on Monday.
“Pakistan has been a supporter for many Afghan refugee families for decades,” she wrote in a post accompanied by pictures of many fleeing families.
“I am saddened they would so abruptly push back refugees who face the impossible realities of trying to survive in today’s Afghanistan, where women have again been deprived of all rights and the possibility of education, many are being imprisoned, and there is a deep humanitarian crisis,” she added further.
Her comments come after Pakistan’s decision to expel all illegal immigrants, many of whom are Afghan.
Last month, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Pakistan to “suspend forcible returns of Afghan nationals before it is too late to avoid a human rights catastrophe”.
In response, Pakistan said the decision to ask illegal immigrants to leave was in exercise of its domestic laws irrespective of their nationality and country of origin.
More recently, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said Pakistan witnessed a 60 percent increase in terror attacks and a 500 percent rise in suicide bombings while 15 Afghan nationals were found involved in these attacks since the Taliban interim government took over Afghanistan on August 15, 2021.
Jolie has previously served as a special envoy for the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), which she parted with last year. She had been with the agency since 2012.
Last year, she visited Pakistan to support communities affected by heavy rains and floods that had impacted more than 33 million people and submerged nearly one-third of the country.
During her visit, she also visited the National Flood Response and Coordination Centre (NFRCC) on Wednesday where she was given a detailed briefing on the relief operation to the flood affected people.
She also visited Yemen and Ukraine to meet with displaced people last year.
Jolie had previously visited victims of the 2010 floods in Pakistan, and prior to that the 2005 earthquake.