HARIPUR: Residents of Haripur have launched a campaign – titled ‘Go Afghani Go’ – to expel Afghan nationals from the region. They have vowed to continue protest till all Afghan national leave the area.
Many of them took out a procession from Padhana village and gathered at Panian Chowk on Saturday.
The protest was led by Pakistan Falah Party central president Qazi Atiqur Rehman, Sahibzada Attaur Rehman and Sheikh Riazuddin. The protesters were carrying banners and were shouting slogans against Afghan refugees and the government.
Addressing participants at the protest, Qazi Atiqur Rehman said the people of Pakistan have hosted Afghan refugees for three decades.
“In return, they have nurtured acrimonious sentiments about Pakistan and created a wave of terrorism and criminality,” he said.
Qazi Atiqur added Afghan nationals dominate most businesses across the country. “This has left little space for young people who have been forced to earn a living in other cities or countries,” he said. “Enough is enough. We cannot tolerate them anymore.”
Speaking on the occasion, district council member Sahibzada Attaur Rehman said Afghan nationals have become a burden on the country’s economy and its people.
Sahibzada Attaur said Afghan nationals are involved in criminal activities. “Afghan nationals have disrupted peace in Haripur,” he added. “They must be repatriated at once.”
He said they will continue to protest till Afghan refugees have been repatriated.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2016.