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  1. #1
    Administrator Aryan_B's Avatar
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    Pakistan England

    More Afghan refugees not welcome: minister

    Aug 7, 2012

    Pakistan says goodbye to Afghan refugees
    By Zofeen Ebrahim

    KARACHI - Pakistan faces increased international pressure to extend the stay of Afghan refugees as it seeks to push them back to war-torn Afghanistan.The government seems adamant in the face of such pressure. "When their refugee status expires on December 31, they will have to leave," Habibullah Khan, secretary of the ministry of states and frontier regions says over phone from Islamabad.

    "This is not something that has come out of the blue to have created such a furor; it was a strategy chalked out and approved by the cabinet."

    Pakistan would have to expel 3 million Afghans, 1.7 million of them registered, and more than half of these living in camps. The



    families of most of these refugees, and an estimated 1.3 million unregistered Afghans, have been in Pakistan for more than 30 years.

    Afghanistan is ill-prepared for such a mass influx.

    Given the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and International Security Force (ISAF) troops drawdown due by 2014, Afghanistan is battling its own set of problems - reining in an insurgency, reviving a collapsed economy and controlling the rising power of the warlords.

    Khan has also said Afghan refugees have become a threat to law and order and to social stability.

    Haji Abdullah Bukhari, Afghan refugees spokesperson living in one of the biggest refugee camps, Camp Jadeed, in the southern port city of Karachi is incensed: "Our Afghan colonies are more peaceful than all of Karachi. He should give proof before making such baseless and irresponsible statements," he told IPS.

    Bukahri, a well-respected Afghan tribal elder, has been in Pakistan for 30 years and divides his time running an electrical shop and doing social work. He is hopeful there will be an extension, a third. "I'm not saying we won't go, but at this point in time, Afghanistan is weak and will not be able to take this burden."

    Amanullah Mughal, 36, himself an Afghan refugee, has been transporting refugees to the border for some years now. "I don't want to go to Afghanistan," he tells IPS. "It will take me another 30 years to resettle there."

    Just about eight years old when he came to Karachi from a village in Kunduz province north of Afghanistan, Mughal now has nine children, all born in Pakistan. They have never set foot on Afghan soil and consider Pakistan their country. Unfortunately Pakistanis don't see them that way.

    And so when their Proof of Registration (PoR) cards expire, they will be deemed illegal if still in Pakistan.

    Bilal Agha, senior field assistant with the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) told IPS that refoulement is a serious crime. This part of refugee law guarantees protection against sending anyone back to a country they left where their lives or freedoms could be threatened.

    "It will not be accepted by any international actor involved with refugees," Agha told IPS. "The UNHCR has a clear understanding that no one will be forcefully returned if he/she is not willing to repatriate voluntarily."

    Agha added that the UNHCR will seek to ensure safety of Afghan refugees after the expiry of PoR cards. He said the refugee agency will closely track the situation through its partners and with refugee communities.

    Some undocumented Afghans, Agha said, are already being put behind bars under the Foreigners Act of 1956. "After completion of their sentence they are deported and handed over to Afghan authorities at the border, in the presence of Afghan consulate representatives from Pakistan."

    Bukhari smiles at the reality behind such moves. "The doors are always open, and people from both sides of the border come and go all the time," he said. Pakistan has tried to register all Afghans living in Pakistan, but is unable to tap all those entering through its porous border.

    Mughal also lives in Camp Jadeed, in Karachi's administrative district of Malir. The camp is in Gadap town where 80% of the 70,000 Afghan refugees in Karachi live and are registered.

    "Most of the Afghans living there work as daily wage earners. They are in carpet weaving, the leather industry, fisheries or in the recycling business," Agha Azam, coordinator with the government's Afghan Refugees Repatriation Cell told IPS. He has been running the Voluntary Repatriation Center in Gadap Town for more than nine years, and it is his job to register and facilitate the repatriation of Afghan refugees.

    "Because repatriation is purely voluntary, we cannot encourage them to go," he said.

    Since the beginning of this year, Azam said the center had sent some 2,600 Afghans from Karachi up to the Afghan border. Each was given US$150 in cash assistance. He said he could not say how many return through the same border.

    Refugees point to the homes they have now built over years. "This was barren land back in the 1980s, and we lived in tents. Because there was no habitation, snakes and scorpions often bit our children. It is only recently that we have been able to build mud houses," said Haji Abdullah Bukhari, pointing to a ramshackle neighborhood of Camp Jadeed.

    Many such refugee settlements lack basic health and education facilities. But despite the terrible conditions, most don't want to leave for a country that may be theirs but which they barely know.

    (Inter Press Service)


    Asia Times Online :: Pakistan says goodbye to Afghan refugees

  2. #2
    Senior Member Express's Avatar
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    Pakistan will always help Afghanistan refugees - but the suffering our nation has had has been so so much. 10 million refugees has been difficult to absorb into our struggling economy!!

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    Banned RaptorRX's Avatar
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    Don't send them back, as we should provide them basic comfortable and education. We should treat them as our good people, if they expel back to Afghanistan, they would likely to become another suicide bombers directly against us.

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    Administrator Aryan_B's Avatar
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    Pakistan England

    Pakistan gives Afghan refugees six more months

    Pakistan gives Afghan refugees six more months
    Posted on 2012-12-12

    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday gave 1.6 million Afghan refugees the right to stay another six months, extending a deadline on their residency papers that had been due to expire at the end of December.

    The decision was taken by Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, according to a statement from his office. His spokesman confirmed that Afghan refugees would now be entitled to stay in Pakistan until the end of June 2013.

    A spokeswoman for the UN Refugee Agency said Pakistan had promised not to expel any registered refugee.

    "We got assurances from Pakistan that they would respect the voluntary nature of returns and would not expel any registered refugee," Duniya Aslam

    Khan told AFP.

    More than five million Afghans fled their homeland for Pakistan in the

    early 1980s, soon after Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan.

    Since the 2001 US-led invasion brought down the Taliban, 3.8 million have returned, leaving 1.6 million behind, most born and brought up in Pakistan.

    In late October, UNHCR boosted incentives for Afghans to return and around 10,000 Afghans went home from October 23 to November 30 -- more than double the number who were repatriated in the same period last year.

    But despite pressure from Islamabad and the extra incentives, the vast majority of the Afghans still in Pakistan are reluctant to return to a country gripped by war and poverty.

    Pakistan gives Afghan refugees six more months

  5. #5
    Senior Member Express's Avatar
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    I wonder how Karzai can claim to represent Afghanis when such a high number of them live in Pakistan and Iran

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    Senior Member Express's Avatar
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    The forgotten: Afghan refugees in Pakistan

    The forgotten: Afghan refugees in Pakistan


    2013-06-15 08:06:54

    SAD though it is, old wars and their effects — even if ongoing — do not make headlines. Perhaps that is why the world’s attention tends to wander away to newer conflicts and their attendant human plight. In recent years, we have seen the international community stretch its hand out to help people whose lives were rent apart in Iraq, in the countries that were part of the Arab Spring, and now in Syria — for a time. With each new flare-up, the thrust of international humanitarian operations shifted, leaving the earlier efforts shorn to a considerable degree of money and manpower. It is only through this cynical lens that the plight of Afghan refugees who continue to remain in Pakistan decades after being dislocated can be understood. Has the world, even Afghanistan, forgotten?

    There are 1.6 million Afghan refugees registered in Pakistan, as well as over 1.6 million unregistered and illegal aliens. For Pakistan and particularly Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the overwhelming majority resides, this is too front-and-centre an issue to be conveniently forgotten. Such, indeed, is the scale of the matter that Pakistani authorities have, on occasion, issued deadlines for Afghans to repatriate themselves on pain of having their refugee status revoked. Such deadlines were extended, and now the latest deadline is due to pass on June 30. This time, too, in view of humanitarian considerations, the government will have little choice but to extend the deadline again. The central issue, of course, is the abysmal situation that continues to prevail in Afghanistan, decades after the invasion by the Soviet Union. Despite the efforts of the UN refugee agency and Pakistan, the reality is that with 36pc Afghans living below the poverty line, little meaningful development and few employment opportunities, Afghanistan is an unappealing destination — even in comparison to Pakistan. The Karzai administration, and the world, needs to ensure improvement, fast. Pakistan must not reject refugees, but neither must their country of citizenship think that the problem has been resolved.

    http://beta.dawn.com/news/1018370/th...es-in-pakistan

  7. #7
    Senior Member Amjad Hussain's Avatar
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    What do we owe Afghan refugees?

    The Af-Pak situation is a much detested thorn in the side of American foreign policy, and understandably so. It is volatile and exceedingly complex. Foreign policy discourse is saturated with different viewpoints on how America can harness political and military potential. The ongoing debate is both crucial and relevant with the upcoming withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in 2014.

    What disturbs me, however, is one critical issue absent from grander schemes on how to deal with Afghanistan and Pakistan – that of refugees.

    There remains little analysis of how top-level decisions affect those that flee over borders by the millions to find some semblance of stability in which to ground their lives. These people remain displaced from their homes as well as from current foreign policy rhetoric, despite being major stakeholders in Af-Pak outcomes. The situation is at worst heart wrenching and at best downright absurd.

    I would like to start off by giving credit where it is due. Despite its conflicted and controversial role in Afghanistan, Pakistan has played host to millions of Afghan refugees since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan three decades ago.

    The image of the dispossessed Afghan takes multiple forms in the eyes of Pakistanis. To name a few: the dirty-faced garbage picker with mismatched shoes, the crusty-eyed child selling facial tissues from car to car and the pre-pubescent girl who shaves her head to look like a boy so she can beg safely on hostile streets.

    Although blended in with the usual elements of poverty and destitution, these images serve as daily reminders of a devastating war being fought next door. But let’s move beyond the images and delve in to some hard facts and analysis.

    Currently Pakistan harbours upwards of 1.6 million displaced Afghans, who build their homes, earn their livelihoods and educate their children on Pakistani soil. Despite growing discontent among local populations about sharing limited resources with an increasingly settled refugee population, Pakistan has decided to continue playing host, recently extending the repatriation deadline for refugees. Meanwhile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) continues to encourage voluntary repatriation, offering grants of $150 to refugees crossing the border back to Afghanistan.

    The repatriation policy potentially exemplifies the classic conundrum of international aid efforts being divorced from grassroots’ reality. Speaking to a social worker who uses vocational schemes to provide economic uplift to Karachi’s Afghan refugees, I was able to gauge the actual effectiveness of international humanitarian initiatives. Upon asking her if the refugees she serves are even aware of UNHCR’s offer of $150 for voluntary repatriation, I received the simple response that they in fact are not.

    The conversation was enlightening in terms of understanding the actual day-to-day difficulties faced by the refugees in our midst. She explained how Karachi’s refugee population is scattered in bastis (settlements) around the city. Karachi is a tough and un-pitying city even for locals, but let’s go ahead and add to the mix a language barrier, war trauma, and inability to find proper housing or develop sustainable livelihoods.

    Even urban-dwelling refugees encounter a desperate situation, having fled for their lives from a war torn country and facing destitution in another. They yearn for home, but Pakistan offers the opportunity of enrolling their children in school. They also do not have the finances to return, and upon doing so face the risk of becoming one of Afghanistan’s roughly 235, 833 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). In short, Afghan refugees are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    From this we can gauge that refugees don’t need or want the incentive of UNHCR’s charity hand out. What they truly covet is schools and safety for their children, sustainable livelihoods, access to medical and legal services and a chance to feel secure in their homeland. Without this, there is no convincing them to cross back into Afghanistan.

    So we need to come to terms with a concrete fact: the Afghan refugees are in Pakistan for the long haul and will most likely soon increase in number. With the upcoming elections in Afghanistan and exit of US troops by 2014, instability and a consequent fresh flow of refugees to Pakistan is highly likely. Pakistani resources will shortly be under added pressure to provide these fleeing, disempowered people with sanctuary.

    We need to start talking solutions.

    In the refugee situation we witness a rare occasion for Pakistan and America to work hand in hand to accomplish something that concretely improves human lives as well as contributes to the best interests of both countries. Yet, humanitarian solutions continue to be put on the back burner in top-level foreign policy debates in the midst of government double- dealing and hurt feelings. This is a deathly ingredient in the Af-Pak midst. A starving, grieving population is more likely to be caught up in the throes of extremist philosophy than one that is nurtured and healing.

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon asserts,

    “The long-term challenges of balancing the economic dimensions of the security transition within the broader Kabul process must be linked to the delivery of real and tangible improvements in the lives of ordinary Afghan citizens.”

    Pakistan and America need to put misunderstandings aside and start working together, because the Afghan people deserve the promise of opportunity and a chance to rebuild their broken lives.

    http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/18...ghan-refugees/

  8. #8
    Senior Member Wajid47's Avatar
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    More Afghan refugees not welcome: minister

    ZULFIQAR ALI


    Governor KPK, Engineer Shaukatullah (R) talking to the Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions, Lt-Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch. — Photo by APP

    2013-10-26 10:48:02


    PESHAWAR: Minister for State and Frontier Regions Lt-Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch on Friday said Pakistan would not allow entry of Afghan refugees if the situation in their country deteriorated after the withdrawal of Nato forces in 2014.

    “Pakistan will not welcome fresh influx of refugees from Afghanistan and use all legal channels in collaboration with the international community to block entry of Afghans on the border,” he said when asked whether Islamabad would provide shelter to fresh refugees if there was turmoil in the neighbouring country after the Nato pullout.

    After meeting officials of the Afghan Commissionerate and UNHCR here, the minister told a news conference that Pakistan would utilise all options to stop Afghan refugees from crossing over the border although there was a possibility that a small number of the people from Afghanistan made their way into Pakistan.

    “In case Afghanistan is unstable, then the local residents will be left with no choice but to flee to Pakistan but even then, we won’t welcome them,” he said.

    Pakistan had opened its border and provided shelter to millions of refugees on ‘humanitarian ground’ after former Soviet Union forces invaded Afghanistan in 1979 though Islamabad is not a signatory to the Geneva Convention.

    Mr Baloch said Pakistan had provided shelter to five million refugees at that time and that three million registered and undocumented Afghans currently lived in the country.

    He said Pakistan was still hosting the largest population of refugees in the world and that the international community should recognise the contribution.

    Mr Baloch said around 2.1 million people had fled Syria before taking shelter in eight countries, while Pakistan was unilaterally bearing the burden of over three million Afghans as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had badly suffered among the four provinces.

    “The people may not tolerate refugees anymore,” he said and asked the Afghan government to create conducive environment in its country to ensure return of refugees.

    He also urged the international community to play its role to facilitate voluntary return of the refugees from Pakistan.

    The minister apprehended that the people might take to the streets and ask for forced expulsion of refugees if they were not returned to Afghanistan before December 2015, which had been fixed as the final deadline of all registered Afghans in Pakistan. He said Pakistan had suffered $200 billion losses for three decades due to the stay of refugees.

    Earlier, the government had set December 2012 the deadline for the voluntary return of the refugees but was later extended until December 2015.

    Mr Baloch said Afghan refugees were expected to go back to their country voluntarily within the stipulated timeframe.

    He said UNHCR had made the $600 million commitment for the rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure in the refugee hosting areas across the country.

    The minister, however, said only $15 million had been provided for the project.

    Expressing serious concern over police excesses against refugees, he asked police to restrain from harassing registered Afghans.

    He said all Afghans with Proof of Registration (PoR) cards, which had expired in 2012, could stay in the country and therefore, police should not harass such people.

    Mr Baloch said renewal of expired PoR cards would begin in the next two months.

    He said the government would reach out to traditional and nontraditional donors, including the Gulf countries, to get funds for rehabilitation of refugee-affected areas.

    Asked about delay in the renewal of PoR cards, he said technical issues between UNHCR and National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) had caused the delay in the process.

    http://dawn.com/news/1051934/more-af...lcome-minister

  9. #9
    Forum Administrator bilalhaider's Avatar
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    Re: More Afghan refugees not welcome: minister

    The minister should talk about repatriating the previous refugees, there should be no talk on new refugees
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    Senior Member Sinbad's Avatar
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    Re: More Afghan refugees not welcome: minister

    Quote Originally Posted by bilalhaider View Post
    The minister should talk about repatriating the previous refugees, there should be no talk on new refugees
    But some have simulated and want to be known as Pakistani citizens. They have been here so long that they want to be Pakistani. If they are aiding the economy and welfare of the country why shouldn't they remain?

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    Re: More Afghan refugees not welcome: minister

    Centre ignores Afghans’ voluntary return plan



    PESHAWAR: The federal government has failed to evolve a mechanism for the implementation of the multi-year Solution Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR), which was approved in 2012 to ensure ‘voluntary and dignified’ repatriation of refugees from Pakistan.

    In background interviews, officials told Dawn that despite reservations of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, the federal government had given two years extension to the stay of the registered refugees in the country but ignored the strategy.

    “Components related to the extension of the refugees’ stay and renewal of proof of registration cards have been addressed, while modalities about repatriation highlighted in the strategy have been ignored,” said an official, adding no follow-up meeting had been held at federal or provincial level.

    The officials said despite the provincial government’s serious reservations, the federal government gave two years extension to 1.6 million refugees of which one minion had been residing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

    “The provincial government has formally opposed the grant of extension to refugees and asked the centre to work out plan for the early repatriation of Afghans,” said a source in the home and tribal affairs department.

    Facilitated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR), Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran had agreed in Geneva to support the strategy to resolve the protracted issue of the refugees living in Pakistan and Iran since 1980s.

    Under the strategy, officials said, there will be two oversight committees at the federal and provincial levels to effectively monitor voluntary repatriation of the refugees and ensure implementation of the SSAR.

    One committee will function in the Ministry of State and Frontier Regions (Safron), while another will be set up at the provincial home and tribal affairs department in Peshawar.

    The Safron secretary will head the 12-member federal committee, which also comprise interior and foreign secretaries, Afghan refugees chief commissioner, Intelligence Bureau director general, Federal Investigation Agency director general and representatives of National Database Registration Authority, home and excise and taxation secretaries, representative of the Federal Board of Revenue, board of revenue member and officials of the Fata Secretariat.

    The provincial committee will comprise 10 members and home secretary had been designated its chairman. Both committees have never met.

    The sources said both committees had never held a single meeting since the approval of the strategy.

    They said the only ministerial level committee had held meeting in Sept 2013 to discuss the SSAR, where the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government was represented by the chief secretary.

    The sources said the Term of References (ToRs) had not been approved so far to figure out guidelines for the implementation of the strategy.

    They said the meeting of the provincial committee was expected in Peshawar next week to finalise ToRs.

    The strategy said quarterly figures for repatriation of refugees might be set and Pakistan, Afghanistan and UNHCR would hold regular meetings to ensure smooth and sustainable return of the refugees and also remove bottlenecks when they arose.

    The document declared it mandatory that all Afghans in the urban areas be registered with the relevant police stations, while all landlords report about their Afghan tenants to the respective commissioners of Afghan refugees and local police stations in the urban area.

    The government will register and tax all businesses run by Afghans including restaurants, shops and vendors. The exit and entry points should be set up on the premises of the camps to check the refugees’ movement.

    Records of the enrolled Afghan students in madrassahs will be provided to the interior and Safron ministries and respective police stations.

    Officials said the relevant departments had no data or statistics about businesses of the refugees being run in Peshawar and other areas of the province.

    The regional Quadripartite Steering Committee called closure of all illegal Afghan markets and also empowered police to conduct random checking for proof of registration cards in urban centres.
    http://www.dawn.com/news/1085906/cen...ry-return-plan

  12. #12
    Member Amina-Shaikh's Avatar
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    Re: More Afghan refugees not welcome: minister

    Quote Originally Posted by bilalhaider View Post
    Centre ignores Afghans’ voluntary return plan





    http://www.dawn.com/news/1085906/cen...ry-return-plan
    These refugees must be allowed to return back to their countries, and live with dignity. Their lives as refugees are a living hell, I've worked with plenty of refugees as a part of my NGO work.
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    Re: More Afghan refugees not welcome: minister

    Another failure of this government.

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    Senior Member Wajid47's Avatar
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    Re: More Afghan refugees not welcome: minister

    Pakistan should not have suffer the burden alone. I completely agree we don't want any more they stretch our resources to the full in particular law and enforcement

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    Pakistan braced for Afghan refugee crisis

    Pakistan braced for Afghan refugee crisis which could see three million cross the border in July

    Islamabad fears that political change in Afghanistan will worsen its own humanitarian problems
    SAM MASTERS , CHRIS STEVENSON Sunday 16 February 2014


    The turmoil that has blighted Afghanistan, particularly over the past 15 years, has forced huge swathes of people out of their homes. Many of them have long since abandoned hope of ever returning.

    Now there are increasing fears that the refugee situation will get much worse, with millions more predicted to flee fighting in Afghanistan.

    There are an estimated 1.6 million registered Afghan refugees who, having fled conflict in their homeland over the past three decades, now live in slums and – initially makeshift, now permanent – camps in neighbouring Pakistan. Many, like 12-year-old Awal Gul, live in sprawling slums on the outskirts of Islamabad where poor health is caused by stagnant water and a lack of basic amenities. "My land is in Afghanistan, and we have nothing in Pakistan," he told Associated Press this month.

    Instead of decreasing, as Pakistani authorities had hoped they might, the numbers of Afghans seeking refuge across the border is now set to dramatically increase. This week, reports emerged that Pakistan was braced for a "worst case scenario" in which an estimated three million refugees would cross from Afghanistan during 20 days in July.

    If, as appears increasingly likely, Taliban militants target electoral candidates in the run-up to Afghanistan's presidential polls in April, any resulting instability when President Hamid Karzai steps aside a few months later will produce a new refugee crisis, according to Pakistani authorities. Bloomberg has reported that Pakistan now fears that a military operation to flush out Taliban and al-Qa'ida militants in Waziristan and other border areas could be "too difficult" because of the refugee situation. A further 500,000 refugees could arrive after October or November, predicted Abdul Qadir Baloch, the Pakistani federal minister for states and frontier regions.

    An estimated 1.6 million Afghans have sought refuge in Pakistan An estimated 1.6 million Afghans have sought refuge in Pakistan Meanwhile, Pakistani authorities this week continued to attempt to repatriate Afghan refugees in camps in Peshawar. At the Mattani Camp, where families had been living for 30 years, some were reportedly allowed to remain nearby because their children were already enrolled at local schools.

    Those being sent back to Afghanistan were reportedly given $200 (£120) by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Agha Jan, a 65-year-old refugee at the camp, told The Express Tribune that the district administration had convinced the refugees to vacate the camps. "We had been living at the camp for the last 30 years, and residents of the area had always treated us with great love," he said.

    The UNHCR said that, of the 1.6 million registered refugees currently in Pakistan, 37 per cent live in 80 refugee camps, of which 79 are located along the border with Afghanistan.

    The remainder live in rural and urban areas of Pakistan.

    Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's Prime Minister, began talks last week with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to end violence that has killed more than 40,000 citizens since 2001. Failure to contain Taliban militants as the US reduces troop levels in Afghanistan risks worsening the world's biggest protracted refugee crisis.

    Hasan Askari Rizvi, a Lahore-based security analyst who previously taught at Columbia University in New York, told Bloomberg: "If there is great turmoil in Afghanistan and civil strife escalates, you will have a new wave of refugees."

    The UNHCR estimates that it has facilitated the voluntary repatriation of 3.8 million Afghans from Pakistan since March 2002. At the beginning of this month US troop numbers in Afghanistan stood at 34,000. President Karzai has refused to sign a deal that would keep US forces in Afghanistan beyond this year, prompting Washington to look to his successor to seal an accord. However, the Taliban sees the presidential poll as illegitimate and plans to target anyone who tries to cast a ballot, Zabihullah Mujahed, a spokesman for the group, said this week. "Anyone who is a candidate, who supports a candidate and who votes for a candidate will be our target," he said.

    Instability in Afghanistan may prompt people to leave the country, particularly for Pakistan, said Islamuddin Jurat, a spokesman for Afghanistan's Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations. "Pakistan is considered by Afghans as the main country to head to," Mr Jurat said. "It could be possible in a high-emergency situation, after coalition troops withdraw, that millions of people will leave Afghanistan to [travel to] Pakistan."

    "None would choose to be a refugee," declared an editorial in the English-language Afghanistan Times earlier this week, "but those who become refugees through inevitabilities need to be treated humanely and their fundamental rights ensured and protected. While every refugee's story is different and their challenges personal, they all share a common thread of uncommon courage."

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...y-9131092.html

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    Senior Member KingKong's Avatar
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    Re: More Afghan refugees not welcome: minister

    Pakistan has enough sh1t of their own to sort. They cannot carry millions of refugees like this. The economy cant sustain it.

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    London conference: PM urges world to do more for Afghans

    LONDON:

    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while reiterating Pakistan’s solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, urged the international community to do more to help the Afghan leadership realise its vision.
    In his address at the London Conference on Afghanistan, Nawaz said Islamabad and Kabul were committed to advance their common goal of a peaceful, stable, united and prosperous Afghanistan.

    The Prime Minister is on a three-day visit to the United Kingdom to participate in the conference also attended by British Prime Minister David Cameron, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and US Secretary of State John Kerry. The Conference is being co-hosted by the Governments of UK and Afghanistan.
    He said over the past 13 years, Afghanistan has made significant gains in many important areas and mentioned the landmark agreement between President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, to form a government of national unity, as an important milestone in this democratic transition.

    “We fully support the Afghan government’s forward-looking vision and reform programme — including measures to strengthen the economy, governance, and the rule of law — with the overall aim of achieving self-reliance during the “Transformation Decade”, and its plans for regional connectivity.”

    Nawaz also welcomed the Afghan government’s call for dialogue, and its determination to resolve differences through political means. He recalled his recent meeting with President Ashraf Ghani during his first state visit to Pakistan. “I am convinced that we have made a historic new beginning in our bilateral relations.”

    The prime minister said Pakistan and Afghanistan have initiated actions to deepen security cooperation, promote bilateral trade and streamline transit trade issues, besides building a stronger economic relationship with a new focus on investments, and enhanced regional economic cooperation.
    “We have also agreed to fast-track the implementation of key trans-regional energy projects —particularly CASA-1000 and TAPI gas pipeline.”

    The prime minister also presented a nine-point recommendation for consideration by the international partners. These include the need for sending a clear message of deeper engagement with Afghanistan, respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and the dignity of its people. He also called for the need to address the urgent fiscal crisis and provide sustained financial assistance for building a secure and self-reliant Afghanistan.

    Nawaz stressed development cooperation to meet the development priorities of the Afghan government besides strengthening efforts in the fight against narcotics production and trafficking.
    He also urged the international community to support the new government’s desire to bring back five million Afghan refugees living abroad, by helping to create conducive conditions for their sustainable reintegration.

    The premier also stressed the need to support projects for regional connectivity — such as the Peshawar-Kabul Motorway and the rail link. This he said would help in implementation of the vision of Afghanistan as a “land-bridge” by supporting communications and energy corridors.

    He also mentioned the recent casualties suffered by the Afghan brothers from the terrorist attacks in Paktika and Kabul and offered condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones.
    Earlier, Secretary of State John Kerry promised US and allied support for Afghanistan as the country’s new leaders struggled to bring peace while foreign combat forces withdraw.

    “We have a government in Kabul that merits our confidence,” Kerry told the London conference. “They can be confident of the support of the international community,” he said.
    Ghani wants to implement a national “strategy of self-reliance”, including tackling corruption, improving security and governance plus boosting exports.

    Kerry praised Ghani and Abdullah for putting aside their own political differences in favour of creating a united vision for Afghanistan’s development, following the presidency of Hamid Karzai, in whom Western confidence wore thin.

    “We are confident that the policies outlined today will result in a more stable, prosperous Afghanistan. This is really an extraordinary moment. It’s a moment of transformation,” Kerry said.

    Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th, 2014.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Amjad Hussain's Avatar
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    Pakistan Pakistan

    Illegal Afghans to be expelled immediately: CM

    PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has said that government will take steps to immediately expel all illegal Afghan refugees.

    He said that a mechanism would be evolved for honourable repatriation of legal Afghan refugees as soon as possible. “Similarly our borders with Fata also need immediate attention to secure Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and rest of the country from infiltration of miscreants wherein sending back and deployment of FC platoons at Fata borders is prerequisite,” he added.

    Mr Khattak said durable peace, prosperity and progress was possible with strictly following the golden principles of Quiad-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

    In his message to the nation on the birth anniversary of the founder of the country, he assured the people of the province to have full confidence in their elected government as it was taking all out measures to ensure peace, safety and prosperity by practicing the Quaid’s teachings in letter and spirit.

    Says mechanism to be evolved for honourable repatriation of legal Afghan refugees
    Mr Khattak said that the best way to pay homage to Quaid-i-Azam was to maintain complete unity and solidarity among our ranks by leaving aside all the petty interests. “We have to utilise all our capabilities to bring the nation at par with other developed nations of the world,” he added.

    The chief minister said that due to the ill-conceived policies in the past, the country faced a very critical and challenging situation.

    He added that though the provincial government was making all possible efforts for the restoration of lasting peace in the region but it was not possible until and unless their geographical borders were duly secured and foreign policy revisited as per national interests.

    Mr Khattak expressed the hope that the federal government in the light of the recommendations of the APC in Peshawar and as per the aspirations of the nation would take bold steps to secure the country and nation in all respects.

    The chief minister said that the Peshawar school incident awakened the entire nation and stirred conscience of the world community to understand real problem of Pakistani nation in respect of terrorism.

    He said the presence of millions of Afghan refugees on their soil was main reason of persistent occurrences of terrorism, unrest and crimes.

    They were not only used by miscreants as the facilitators for such misdeeds but they had also increased pressure on the feeble economy and meagre available resources, he added.

    Mr Khattak said that government both at provincial and central level would take steps to immediately expel all the illegal Afghan Refugees.

    Modus operandi would be devised for honourable repatriation of legal Afghan refugees staying there as soon as possible.

    He appealed the people to demonstrate complete unity in their ranks so that Pakistan could be turned into a real welfare, democratic, peaceful and developed country as per vision of Quiad-i-Azam.

    Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2014

  19. #19
    Elite Member sparkling's Avatar
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    Pakistan Pakistan

    No more welcome: 2,000 unregistered Afghans deported since APS attack

    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has deported around 2,000 unregistered Afghans after the attack on Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014.

    “Pakistani authorities have clearly conveyed to the Afghan government that around three million refugees are posing grave security risk and it is now working to send back non-registered Afghan refugees at the earliest to minimise these risks,” security officials told Daily Express on the condition of anonymity.

    These sources said that after the approval of the National Action Plan (NAP) the provincial governments have been directed to arrest illegal Afghans and deport them immediately.
    “It has been clearly conveyed to Afghan authorities that around all the three million refugees will be repatriated by December 2015, and meanwhile no action will be taken against the registered refugees,” the sources said, adding, “it has also been conveyed that action is only being taken against those Afghan refugees who have not got themselves registered properly.”

    The sources said that intelligence agencies have proof which was handed over to the Afghan authorities that there are unregistered Afghans who are involved in terrorist activities and crimes, creating law and order problems in Pakistan which cannot be tolerated anymore.

    The official sources said that the same was conveyed by the Army Chief Raheel Sharif in his last visit to Kabul. “It is most likely that PM Nawaz will visit Kabul sometimes this month and the issue of repatriation of Afghan refugees and immediate deportation of illegal Afghans remains on the agenda.”
    The official sources said that the government has expedited measures including registration and containing them to their refugee camps and restrict their activities.

    “Police have expedited a campaign against unregistered Afghans in Peshawar and other parts of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa,” the source said adding, “Unregistered Afghans travelling or staying in the province are being deported to their country under the section 14 of the Foreigners Act after fulfilling legal requirements.”

    According to UNCHR report, there are 1.78 million registered Afghan refugees while 0.68 million are unregistered out of total 2.46 million refugees. “Pakistan is hosting Afghan refugees since long and time and again has reminded the international community that these people are a burden on its fragile economy apart from the fact that they (unregistered Afghan refugees) are also involved in criminal and extremist activities in Pakistan,” says the report.

    Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2015.

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    Senior Member ArshadK's Avatar
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    Pakistan Pakistan

    Afghan refugees tell of their eviction from Pakistan

    Ever since the December attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan has become increasingly hostile to Afghan refugees. As a result, writes Franz Marty, more than twice as many have returned to Afghanistan as in the whole of the 2014


    For 35 years, Hoji Karim had eked out a living in the mountainous region of Pakistani Kashmir. Having fled the war in his native Afghanistan, the elderly man thought that, across the border, in the valleys of the lower Himalayas, he had finally found somewhere safe. But two months ago that all changed.

    "The Pakistani police came to our house and told us to leave," he said. "They threw all our things onto the street."

    Hoji Karim and his family knew they had no choice but to abandon their home in Pakistan, and cross back into their own country. Now, with no money to pay rent, they are living with 15 other families in tents. Their new home is a make-do settlement by the road which runs from the Afghan border post of Torkham to the city of Jalalabad, the first major settlement, 50 miles to the west. Their home region of Patkia is, in any case, too dangerous for them to return.

    Hoji Karim's story is far from unique. Ever since the December 16 terrorist attack on a school in Peshawar – which Pakistan partly blames on Afghans – pressure on Afghan refugees in Pakistan has been rising.

    Since the beginning of this year over 55,000 Afghan refugees have returned from Pakistan – more than twice as much as in the whole of the 2014.

    Only a few of them – approximately 4,000 – belong to the 1.6 million officially-documented Afghan refugees in Pakistan. They are redirected to the UNHCR centre near Jalalabad, where they are interviewed, given medical attention, a mine awareness education and a repatriation grant of $200 each.

    The rest, without documents, have a more difficult time. Crossing the border, they are registered and referred to the transit centre of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) close to the border, where they get a meal and a place to rest. But they usually travel on after a few hours. Due to limited resources, the IOM can only provide approximately 10 per cent of the most vulnerable – for example unaccompanied minors, the elderly, sick and mentally ill – with basic humanitarian assistance. The others have to fend for themselves.

    "Pakistani officials should not be scapegoating Afghans because of the Taliban's atrocities in Peshawar," said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "It is inhumane, not to mention unlawful, to return Afghans to places they may face harm and not protect them from harassment and abuse."

    The rate of spontaneous returns of undocumented Afghans increased from an average of 59 a day in 2014 to 651 in the 2015. An IOM official said that many of the unregistered Afghan returnees reported that they had left Pakistan to escape harassment following the Peshawar attack.
    And the Torkham crossing, situated between rocky mountains on the road between Peshawar and Jalalabad, is busy. Every day, more than 30,000 people cross the border – among them many returnees. Most returnees arrive in lorries crammed with their belongings; the cheerful decorations of the lorries belying their difficult return.

    Afghanistan's minister for refugees and repatriations, Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi, has appealed to his Pakistani counterparts to stop the forced evictions. He travelled to Pakistan and announced on March 14 that an agreement had been reached, with which Pakistan would stop deportations and instead register the undocumented Afghans in Pakistan.

    Since then, the numbers of returnees decreased significantly. But it still remains high.
    Last week Nursada, a vegetable seller, was one of them – arriving from Peshawar after 30 years living there.

    "Why did I leave? The Pakistani police came to my house and told me to go" he said, proving that the agreement has done little to change the situation.

    "Before, I sold vegetables from my cart in the bazaar of Peshawar.
    "But now no one is doing business with Afghans."

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...-Pakistan.html

    Why dont the Brits and Indians and other friends of Afghanistan take some of the strain and allow some Afghans refuge

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