DI KHAN: Residents of Wana, South Waziristan Agency prepared a special feast for Afghan refugees who are leaving for their motherland. A large number of locals invited their former neighbours for a meal before they left for Afghanistan. The feast symbolised a farewell gesture to express their gratitude people who had stood by them during the ebbs and flows of life over the last three decades.
The feast was served at Kari Kot Bazaar, 15 kilometres away from Wana Bazaar. A special prayer was said for the departing refugees.
Thank you note
“I was born here,” Said Wali, an Afghan refugee, told The Express Tribune. “I grew up here. This place is a part of me. I thank my friends for this feast.”
“Afghans have lived with us in harmony and peace,” said Abdur Rehman, a resident of Kari Kot. “We participate in each other’s ceremonies. We have all been together through thick and thin.”
He added, “The deadline should be extended, so that the Afghans could go back with ease and honour. They shouldn’t be rushed.”
Locals who organised the meal urged the government to resolve the problems faced by Afghan refugees during the repatriation process.
Dozens of Afghan families are currently settled in Kari Kot.
This happened in 1979 after the Soviet invasion of Russia. Initially, the Afghan nationals settled in Zari Noor and later carved a niche for themselves in other parts of Wana.
On August 3, the political administration gave them a week’s deadline to leave the region. Recently, two local elders along with an Afghan refugee were arrested in fake domicile case.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2016.
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