Afghan Refugees ; A Disaster in Pakistan

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Munaza Kazmi

Year 1979, when Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan, that resulted in a huge amount of Afghan refugees crossing the border into Pakistan; same people who voted negatively at the time of creation of Pakistan. This influx started through Torkham border, hence a million of Afghan refugees entered the country. Till today the country is showing hospitality towards those Afghan refugees, nevertheless the number became swollen hugely in the past forty years.

In the early years, Pakistan was receiving a handsome support globally, including food assistance from World Food Program to feed those empty stomachs, nevertheless that assistance was withdrawn in 1995. Gradually that made the Afghan refugees to move from the camps and turn themselves to the urban areas of Pakistan, nevertheless this was in good favor of those Afghan refugees, but still local government put a strain of limited resources.
If we contemplate the idea today then we could analysis how badly it turned for the country of Pakistan, first to let those Afghan refugees cross the border and then let them move to Pakistan’s civil areas, today much of Pakistan’s land is polluted with the whereabouts of these Afghan refugees.
Later the donors, like UNHCR, USA, EU, KSA, and other Islamic countries that first supported Pakistan in feeding those Afghan refugees have also set back, backing the 9/11 terrorist attack, since there seemed a drastic ideological change among the communities worldwide regarding the region.
Nevertheless, UNHCR somehow continued its support which assisted Pakistan in improving the Afghan refugee’s lives, but due to the recent global crises, mainly Syria, the focus of international community had diverted, which made Pakistan single handed in carrying this never-ending burden.
Over last four decades the Government of Pakistan and its populace is hosting millions of Afghan refugees. Currently there are 1.4 Million registered and God knows how many are wondering here and there undocumented.
Hence, the Government of Pakistan has reflected a very flexible conduct in handling the Afghan refugees’ issues and has allowed them to live with freedom, the liberty of moving, the luxury of education, food and safety. Even Pakistan have went so far in providing them with POR card from which they could open accounts in any bank.
Moreover, several different programs had been initiated by private public partnership to provide the Afghan refugees with skills so that they could earn their livelihood. Even though Pakistan been so generous that the country has allowed the Afghan refugees to have higher education, encouraged them to join the national sport teams and domestic cricket tournaments.
But the sole purpose of hosting the Afghan refugees was to provide them with “asylum” until the situation easy in Afghanistan, which was a sign of humanity. But unfortunately, these Afghan refugees have rooted them selves which the wish of living in the heaven of Pakistan forever, as theses Afghans seem reluctant to go back to their country. It has been more than forty years that Pakistan is under the liability which never belonged to it.
Today Pakistan have much more Afghan refugees spreading everywhere, which I believe was one of the biggest mistake Pakistan ever come across. While the country remained a generous host till all those years, the continued presence of Afghan refugees marked a burden on our precious resources.
Moreover, with the advancement of Taliban in Afghanistan, the government of Pakistan in 2021 however for the cause of humanity had taken a costly and foolish decision of allowing a huge number of refugees to reenter in Pakistan.
Nevertheless, this was for a few months, but these few months had been turning into year, which is a disastrous sign, since the whole country is infiltrated with Afghans, our every business of life is being cruelly disturbed.
Let’s say the rental values of homes have been climbed drastically, once the minimal cost of commodities of everyday use have surmounted, along crime rate, drugs mobility and a lot more.

Moreover, it’s a threat to our culture, our language and our tradition, this’s basically against the national interest. As we have been their host for a long long time, instead of going back, herds of refugees had come once more. I wonder what stakes the government is having by allowing such a disaster.

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