Former prosecutors stranded in Islamabad plead for asylum

Tens of prosecutors who worked under the previous government and are now stranded in Islamabad recently held a protest rally in this city on Tuesday, demanding rights organizations including UNHCR to provide them asylum in a bid for safety.

These former prosecutors fled to the Pakistani capital city following the takeover of the Taliban in August 2021 fearing retaliation and for whom the temporary safety is turning into a “hell”.

“We are living an uncertain fate for nearly two years,” said one of the protestors.

“Most of us don’t hold a valid Pakistani visa which has exposed us to severe restrictions from the Pakistani police. Our psychological and financial situation is no better.”

Hayatullah Hayat, former advisor to the Attorney General who also participated in the rally, said that nearly 200 former prosecutors including their family members are living under dire circumstances in Islamabad.

“Those who had potential contacts were able to resettle in Western countries, and many without supporters are stranded,” Hayat added.

“The security situation for those who couldn’t flee Afghanistan is more difficult as they live in constant fear and mistrust amid concerns for Taliban reprisal.”

In the meanwhile, a group of Afghanistan prosecutors have established Afghan Attorneys in Exile to discover and seek resettlement pathways to safety and to address the many problems prosecutors and attorneys grapple with in Pakistan.

The US and NATO countries evacuated tens of thousands of Afghans from Afghanistan during and after its withdrawal from the country in August 2021.

However, thousands were left behind, many of whom fled to third countries, including Pakistan, to have their resettlement applications processed.