Knee-jerk reaction?: K-P government decides to expel Afghan refugees after a month

Published: December 20, 2014
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“If presidential elections can be held in Afghanistan, its citizens in Pakistan can also go back home,” said Minister for Information Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani. PHOTO: AFP

“If presidential elections can be held in Afghanistan, its citizens in Pakistan can also go back home,” said Minister for Information Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani. PHOTO: AFP

ABBOTABAD / PESHAWAR: 

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to expel all Afghan refugees from the province after a month, following an intelligence report that revealed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s deadly assault on Army Public School (APS) was controlled by militants in Afghanistan.

Nearly 150 people—more than 130 of them schoolchildren—were brutally slaughtered by members of the banned outfit, according to their claim of responsibility. The militants laid siege to the school for more than seven hours on Tuesday.

The decision to expel all Afghan refugees staying in K-P was taken on Friday in a special meeting of the provincial cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Pervez Khattak. The gathering was called to review the security situation in the province in the aftermath of the December 16 carnage.

“If presidential elections can be held in Afghanistan, its citizens in Pakistan can also go back home,” said Minister for Information Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani while briefing the media after the meeting.

Initially, a policy will be made to expel Afghan refugees from settled areas after a month. Following this, the K-P government will begin to implement the policy, he said.

According to Ghani, the K-P cabinet demanded the federal government review the country’s foreign policy and work to strengthen weaknesses. “Pakistan’s security should be the first priority, there should be no compromise on the matter,” the information minister stated.

He added the origin of the APS attack was traced back to Afghanistan and the federal government should take up the issue with the Afghan government. “If talks do not achieve the desired result, the government should take concrete steps against militants hiding across the border.”

When asked about the federal government’s extension of the stay of Afghan refugees till next year, Ghani said it was time to take action and the K-P government will take up the matter with international humanitarian organisations.

NoCs for schools 

Elaborating on other decisions taken at the cabinet meeting, Ghani said after winter vacations, schools across K-P will only open after the school administration obtains no-objection certificates from the respective district administration.

“The police and district administration will visit educational institutions to inspect security arrangements. NoCs will be issued only if the officials are satisfied,” said Ghani. “Weapons licences will be issued to guards deployed at schools.”

“We demand that the federal government make the Federally Administered Tribal Areas a separate province with the consensus of its elders or convert Fata into an administrative unit,” the minister said quoting the cabinet’s demands.

Speaking about the developments in the investigation of APS attack, the information minister said audio recordings of the attackers’ conversation with their handler had been obtained and also shared with the Afghan government. He added other information cannot be shared at the moment.

On high alert

Meanwhile, IGP Nasir Khan Durrani has directed the police to beef up security at sensitive buildings across the province.

While presiding over a high-level meeting to discuss law and order, the IGP instructed all DIGs to visit jails in the respective jurisdictions and personally inspect security arrangements.

“Access routes to these jails should be closed down and alternate routes should be opened for traffic,” said Durrani. He also ordered a crackdown against anti-social elements.

Furthermore, security across Hazara Division has been heightened and additional police and elite force officials have been deployed at key locations following security threats. 

Published in The Express Tribune, December 20th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (46)

  • jock
    Dec 20, 2014 - 1:31AM

    Fully support it. Wish them well in their homeland. Begin from Karachi please.

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  • Ahmad Malik
    Dec 20, 2014 - 1:54AM

    Great decision by the KP govt. the other provinces should implement it as well!

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  • king
    Dec 20, 2014 - 2:22AM

    the only problem with afghanis is that they live and hate the very same nation..pakistan security comes first!

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  • Raj - USA
    Dec 20, 2014 - 2:42AM

    Pakistan claims that it has voice recordings of the terrorists being directed from their handlers in Afghanistan. India and USA provided voice recordings of terrorists who attacked Mumbai with their handlers in Pakistan. Pakistan said at that time and still claims that voice recordings are not acceptable proofs and has refused to provide voice samples of the terrorist masterminds in Pakistan also so that the voices on the recordings could be authenticated.

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  • Raj - USA
    Dec 20, 2014 - 2:43AM

    Pakistan claims that India is also involved. So, KP government should expel all hindus, sikhs and christians also to India.

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  • Pakistani
    Dec 20, 2014 - 3:02AM

    yes, finally. they can go to the karazi mother land india if afghanistan doesn’t take them back.

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  • a
    Dec 20, 2014 - 3:50AM

    a bit too harsh, give them atleast 3 months notice

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  • a
    Dec 20, 2014 - 3:50AM

    why can’t they just live here now? They are sort of naturalized citizens

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  • shaheer afghan
    Dec 20, 2014 - 7:40AM

    Good desision if implementerted
    How will u hide good talibans?

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  • Nadeem
    Dec 20, 2014 - 8:41AM

    Pakistan should be clear from Afghans as soon as possible they are
    Security threat no doubt they live and hate the very same they can even sell their Emaan for the sake of money

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  • Saleem
    Dec 20, 2014 - 9:32AM

    Great step. I wish other provinces can do follow K&P as well. And that may give goofy interior minister to do something about Afghan refugees in Islamabad.

    May a law of the land that those who stay beyond their visa, particularly Afghani, must be punished.

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  • Ifti
    Dec 20, 2014 - 9:38AM

    Also construct a wall or wire on entire af pak boudr

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  • ali
    Dec 20, 2014 - 9:39AM

    we can send them to india. as they love the indians.

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  • Saeed
    Dec 20, 2014 - 9:51AM

    What about those in karachi???

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  • objective observer
    Dec 20, 2014 - 10:06AM

    Afghanistan should also deport all undocumented Pakistani day laborers immediately. They deem a security risk.

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  • Afghan
    Dec 20, 2014 - 10:18AM

    Please return the dollars also which you got from America for showcasing our refugees.

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  • Dec 20, 2014 - 10:19AM

    this decision have been taken earlier. Late but good decision.

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  • uzma
    Dec 20, 2014 - 10:20AM

    Plz implement the decision in other provinces as well. They are creating havoc with our economy.

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  • Pk
    Dec 20, 2014 - 10:35AM

    @Raj – USA:
    Stop making everything about india you attention seekers!

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  • Pk
    Dec 20, 2014 - 10:38AM

    @a:
    Do they CALL themselves neutral citizens?

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  • Pity
    Dec 20, 2014 - 10:54AM

    They should be sent to India as India has great love for their Afghan brothers.

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  • Pakistani
    Dec 20, 2014 - 11:20AM

    Afghans have to be repatriated humanely.

    One month is too short notice and the system in Pakistan too inefficient to make this effective anyway.

    Make a plan for repatriation over 12 – 18 months, in co-ordination with UNHCR and international donors – and stick to it. Over this period build facilities in Afghanistan so Afghans can return in an organised way (and do not slip back).

    Whatever we feel right now, we should NOT LOSE OUR HUMANITY and sense of justice.

    Many Afghans hate Pakistan becuase of Indian / Karzai propaganda. But we still have to treat people with the generocity and hospitality that has always defined Pakistanis.

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  • Bewildered
    Dec 20, 2014 - 11:39AM

    @Raj – USA:

    “that voice recordings are not acceptable proofs”

    You know that even in Indian laws only the voice recording is not an exclusive proof of crime, and so is the case with Pakistani laws. However, unlike Bombay attacks for which no one took the responsibility, TTP proudly claimed responsibility for the Peshawar carnage, and the voice recording is only a proof of the details. You know all these things, but honesty is not the best policy for Indians.

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  • Bewildered
    Dec 20, 2014 - 11:49AM

    @Raj – USA:

    You know that even in Indian laws only the voice recording is not an exclusive proof of crime, and so is the case with Pakistani laws. However, unlike Bombay attacks for which no one took the responsibility, TTP proudly claimed responsibility for the Peshawar carnage, and the voice recording is only a proof of the details. You know all these things, but honesty is not the best policy for Indians.

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  • Zarlash khan
    Dec 20, 2014 - 12:47PM

    All Pakhtuns belong to one motherland, Afghanistan/Khorasan. Expelling Afghans is an attack on Pakhtun sovereignty! Why did Pakistan interfered in Afghanistan in the first place? You made them homeless! You took away their homes in your so-called war on terror and now YOU are kicking them back?! Kudos!

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  • Afghani
    Dec 20, 2014 - 3:17PM

    @Pk:
    yes i do call myself a neutral citizen.Recommend

  • Afghani
    Dec 20, 2014 - 3:59PM

    Then what about the Afghan students who are studying in Pakistani Schools? I’m A Levels student and i need to get over my CIEs first which will be taking place in May 2015.
    It’s very harsh to give a month’s time for us to leave. Just imagine the same thing happening to you then you’ll know how it feels. Not all Afghans are terrorists. We are not born with this tag. I know that it’s a burden for a country to give place to such huge number of refugees but then at least give them some more time for repatriation so that they don’t face much problems. Please be generous.
    The APS attack has also left us sad. May their soul rest in peace. We know that killing people is wrong and killing children is forbidden. We do have siblings and we know how it feels when we lose one of them.

    @Pk: Yeah I do call myself a neutral citizen. And Alhamdolilah all my friends and teachers who belong to Pakistan are happy with me…

    @Nadeem: have u ever lived with an Afghan ?Recommend

  • shah
    Dec 20, 2014 - 4:04PM

    @ Afghan
    All Afghans have been enjoying life here in Pakistan with facilities which were not available in their homeland. If International Donner gave dollars, Pak spent those on refugees. e.g till last years decision of P.H.C, Afghans were given electricity at the rate of 2.5 Rs/unit and on the other hand we Pakistanis were purchasing it for Rs 9/unit despite shortage of electricity in Pak. Is there any other better example of hospitality in this world?
    Afghans are enjoying our hospitality here in Pak and on the other hand we are unable to return our brothers (lesser in number) from Bangladesh ,who are scarifying and living as 2nd citizens,imprisoned in camps since last 43 years. They speak for Pak and they dont accept Bangladesh , real loyal to Pakistan.

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  • Unbiased
    Dec 20, 2014 - 4:07PM

    They should have been repatriated long ago. But this is not the way to just send them back in one month. What if your landlord told you to vacate the premises in one month. We still have resources, what do they have, They also have kids who are no different than Pakistani kids. Kids are kids. I suggest that authorities should fingerprint them and each month send 20% back. That way in 5 months the process would be completed without giving a hard time to the families.

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  • Pakistani
    Dec 20, 2014 - 5:16PM

    @Afghan:
    USAID alone pumped $100bn into Afghanistan (vs 15 in to Pak).

    Also, there are only 20,000 Pakistanis working in Afghanistan vs estimated 3m afghanis in Pakistan.

    However, I still believe we have to treat Afghanis in Pakistan with great respect and hospitality.

    They should be repatriated so they can contribute positively to Afghanistan, and also to stop Afghanis from constantly blaming Pakistan about Haqqani this, Haqqani that – but it has to be done humanely and in an organised way so they do not face needless hardship.

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  • Mr. Honest
    Dec 20, 2014 - 6:10PM

    Till the RULERS of Pakistan have the courage and nerves to repatriate all Afghan refugees, close all Afghan colonies in every city of Pakistan, and seal the border with Afghanistan to the best of their abilities, the citizens of Pakistan will continue to bleed. The Afghans hate Pakistanis anyways, send them all to India, they are in love with each other now a days.

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  • islooboy
    Dec 20, 2014 - 7:11PM

    collective punishment will make us no different than taliban the refugees should be repatriated in a humane and civil way

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  • Pakistani
    Dec 20, 2014 - 10:48PM

    @Mr. Honest:

    I agree Afghanis need to eb repatriated, but it needs to be done with humanity.

    They may well hate us, but we do not need to hate them.

    We should not cause people any needless hardship and allow them time to prepare for the move.

    The Afghanis who do need to be fined and deported immediately are the illegal immigrants.

    THIS HAS TO HAPPEN NOW

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  • Sohail
    Dec 21, 2014 - 12:36AM

    I live in Canada and next door live an afghani family which hates Pakistani and its ppl with a passion. All the afghani ppl I have met here hate Pakistan even though when u ask where they studied and lived before Canada the all say Pakistan. Sorry to say but these ppl do not deserve the hospitality Pakistani have given them. They should eventually be sent back but in a reasonable time not one month.

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  • Noor
    Dec 21, 2014 - 6:32AM

    Because of you people we r homeless

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  • Raghu
    Dec 21, 2014 - 10:41AM

    @Pakistani:

    Memorable words

    “They may well hate us, but we do not need to hate them.”

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  • Fareed
    Dec 21, 2014 - 11:25AM

    Pakistan the land of Pureterrorland!

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  • zed
    Dec 22, 2014 - 12:03AM

    Go Afgh Go. All 15 millions. From all 4 provinces, GB and AK areas. Go home please. Persona non grata. Go build your homes and country. Time to wake up after 34 years.

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  • Emal
    Dec 22, 2014 - 12:22AM

    I am having a laugh at ur knowledge of economics @uzma:

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  • Emal
    Dec 22, 2014 - 12:31AM

    Being an Afghan. I am glad Pakistan is deciding to take this step. But the Pak administration would eventually need another cover for their acts of terrorism. Let’s just not forget all the Muftis and Talib support is quite vivid and well known. If you are to act against terrorism first clear your own home. Of all the terrorist organizations in world more than half is born flourished and nurtured in your beloved Pakistan.

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  • Noor
    Dec 22, 2014 - 3:35AM

    Our culture, our history, our religion is the same and we all pukhtoon belongs to afghanitan so how can you call me immigrants in our own land, which was acquired by our grand fathers sacrifices for us, this the the fault of Britain that they have created a line between pukhtoon, not afghanis to suffer.

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  • shah
    Dec 22, 2014 - 3:25PM

    @Noor:
    No Pakhtun from this side of border says such words..One of my friends from Nowshehra promissed us yesterday that he will give us a dinner party(to 107 people) if Afghans are departed in one month. All the Pakhtunism is seen by you , living in Afghanistan.. No Pashtun who belongs to Pakistan wanna opt u people.

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  • Noor
    Dec 22, 2014 - 3:50PM

    Shah
    Ok fear enough if you deport afghan we will deport pakis from our land

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  • Sam
    Dec 23, 2014 - 2:34PM

    Most afghanis live illegally and thats a problem..go back to ur own country,u shouldve been gone before@Afghani:

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  • Afghani
    Dec 24, 2014 - 3:50PM

    @Sam:
    m nt living illegally brother… and it was in our luck to come to pakistan.. Cuz my family didn’t come here to take refuge from talibans…
    There is something known as qadr in islam…

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  • shazia khan
    Feb 4, 2015 - 6:04PM

    I would like to explain you that no afghans is responsible for attacks in pakistan and no afghan is involve in terrorism .Pakistan is training center for terrorist .they trains terrorist and send them to afghanistan to fight against afghan army and police whole world knows better even america knows better but its just a global game against muslims specialy against pashtoons in pakistan and afghanistan .Pakistan takes grants of billion dollars for keeping afghans in pakistan .and in khyber pukhtoonkhwa afghans are not refugees .kpk land is part of afghanistan and afghan govt has proof for it when time comes afghanistan will take his land as soon as possible

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