PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government has raised serious concerns and sought an explanation from the Afghan refugees’ commissioner after the United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) introduced a controversial syllabus for school children at the refugee camps.
In a notification issued on Saturday, the provincial home ministry termed the fresh changes in the syllabus for grade 1 to 6 as being ‘anti-Pakistan’.
The syllabus contained questionable content including showing the Pak-Afghan border as the controversial Durand Line, projecting India as a friendly country to Afghanistan, showing Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir as part of India and displaying the Afghanistan flag on every page.
The changes were made without the approval of any provincial or federal departments.
Apart from the nature of these revisions, timing of the revisions in the school syllabus is also questionable.
The development came a day after Pakistan and the United States (US) clashed with each other at the United Nations. The US urged Pakistan not to give sanctuary to terrorist organisations while Pakistan demanded that the Trump administration address safe havens inside Afghanistan and its income from the narcotics trade.
The exchange took place on Friday at the UN Security Council meeting on the issue of Afghanistan’s relations with its Central Asia neighbours, and the link between peace and security.
Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said the US cannot work with Pakistan if it continued to give sanctuary to terrorist organisations and the country needed to stop this and join efforts to resolve the Afghan conflict.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi strongly countered that Afghanistan and its partners, especially the US, needed to address the “challenges inside Afghanistan rather than shift the onus for ending the conflict onto others.”
It must be noted that a radio tower that was streaming messages from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) into Pakistan’s territory was destroyed on Thursday by the country’s armed forces on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in North Waziristan.
The radio station was set up near Dwa Toi and was allegedly transmitting enemy’s propaganda, a security official said.
On Friday, Ambassador to the United States, Aizaz Chaudhry had said that Pakistan wanted to send back Afghan refugees and any Taliban and Haqqani Network elements present along with them to their own country.
He said that the Afghan refugees had become a security threat for Pakistan.