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WE LIVE TO SURVIVE ANOTHER DAY: PLEA OF AFGHAN REFUGEES RESIDING IN PAKISTAN

During the later part of the twentieth century, Pakistan started to host thousands of Afghan refugees who fled from their native lands when political tensions started to emerge in the region.


The problem of refugees continues to persist and no social development like education and healthcare is observed to date. Given the fact that Pakistan has received numerous aids from its western donors for such developments, the uncertain future of these refugees leaves an everlasting question mark on the governance of a country of 220 million people.


With the Taliban's take over in Afghanistan, there is a continuous threat of more inflow of refugees finding shelter in the northern areas of Pakistan. Does Pakistan have the capacity to host these incoming migrants and provide them with social rights including education or will it be another doom day with no light at the end of the tunnel?


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10 commentaires


Thank you for writing about this important issue. It saddens me to see the way that Afghan refugees had to settle in slums with no hope of a better future. Do you believe that it is the responsibility of the host nation to provide the refugees when they themselves are struggling to provide for their own nationals? The UK recently tried to send refugees to Rwanda while their application is processed - do you think this is an ethical move?

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En réponse à

The fact that these countries receives donations worldwide to host refugees does make them ethically obligated to provide. Furthermore, I believe that in case of Pakistan, we did have a role to play in this conflict therefor we can't walk away from this. If conflict occurs in any form across borders, it will come to us no matter what.

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A very crucial topic you choose. Looking from the prospective of media and government "Pakistan's National Security Advisor said that Pakistan cannot host any more Afghan refugee for several reasons, including financial constraints."

“Pakistan is not in the condition right now to accept any more refugees,” Moeed Yusuf told a news conference in the capital, Islamabad. He said Pakistan is already hosting more than 3 million Afghan refugees who had fled the war and violence in their country over the past decades.

Mr. Yusuf said Pakistan will try to do whatever is possible to help Afghans, but that international efforts should step up to prevent a humanitarian crisis. He asked the world community not to repeat the past mistake of…

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En réponse à

Considering the current rise in inflation, it would be the bare minimum if Pakistan is able to provide for it’s citizens let alone the refugees. However, Pakistan must give account of the previous aids it received from it’s western donor, if it expects the world to further donate for the settlement of such refugee.

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I think the issue you have raised has in turn raised a very important question: Is it fair to expect Pakistan to bear the burden of repatriation as it continues to struggle socially and economically itself?

There is no doubt that the challenge Pakistan faces is huge as just the relocation makes Pakistan the third largest refugee hosting nation in the world. Before 1995, Pakistan was welcoming the Afghan refugees warmly, however, around that period, funding from UNHCR and WFP halted and Pakistan's attitude towards them soured. While the issuance of “Afghan Citizen Cards” was a step in the right direction, it must be kept in mind that the primary goal of Pakistan still lies somewhere in repatriation or th…

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En réponse à

I complete agree that Pakistan is not economically sufficient to host furthemore refugees however, with the Taliban coming into power, it’s inevitable that the conflict would migrate across borders leading to more refugees into

the country. Pakistan must be aware of such moves and must plan ahead if it wants to not face the same issues it did 20 years earlier.

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An extremely pertinent issue! Pakistan itself has been facing several challenges in educating their citizens and now the education of Afghan refugees is another challenge Pakistan will have to face. As a broader picture, I believe Pakistan is already looking to solve and stop illegal and terror related activities from Afghan border and sadly educating the refugees is probably not the main concern at the moment. As much as it hurts to see the situation of refugees, there must be some crucial policy changes. Giving them shelter and nutrition is only for survival and in order to provide them assistance or respect, the government of Pakistan must introduce some policies in order to educate these refugees.

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En réponse à

Yes and it must give an account of the earlier aids it received through it’s western donors. The fact that Afghan refugees have crossed 1 million in number, it is hard to ignore their pleas. The country must also look for developing sectors and informal economies that would help making these refugees survive in the rough terrains of Pakistan.

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Pakistan has an insufficient amount of resources as well as limited funding to construct enough educational and healthcare systems for its own people, much less Afghan refugees. There is undoubtedly unfair pilferage of foreign funds politically, but that has persisted long since before the Afghan issue. Isn't it thus an unfair expectation upon the country on the Afghans' behalf, who willingly sought asylum in a country that they knew was not financially or politically much better? There may be 'numerous aids from western donors' but then why are they not held accountable for not hosting Afghan refugees as more financially established states? Why is Pakistan, as a politically and economically struggling nation itself, only forced into question in this case?

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En réponse à

The fact that conflict and its after effects do cross borders is something that we must digest. It is also no false in accepting that Pakistan was involved in the conflicts that persisted in Afghanistan. I do agree that the west has manoeuvred the asian block for its interest, but we cannot blame others for the mess that we inflicted upon ourselves. To get rid of this problem, it must be our top most priority that there is peace in Afghanistan and even if there’s something, we shouldn’t be washing our hands in it.

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