Law and order issues: Afghan refugees ‘do not want to go back home’

Published: January 16, 2015
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A file photo of an Afghan refugee girl in Peshawar. PHOTO: AFP

A file photo of an Afghan refugee girl in Peshawar. PHOTO: AFP

QUETTA: Representative for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Pakistan, Maya Ameratunga, has said that the majority of Afghan refugees do not want to voluntarily repatriate because of the deteriorating law and order situation in their country.

Around 1.5 million refugees are leading a very hard life in Pakistan, yet they still believe the law and order situation here is relatively better than Afghanistan, said the head of UNHCR during a seminar.

The officials of UNHCR Dunya Aslam Khan and Javeria Tareen gave a detailed presentation on the repatriation process and mechanism. According to UNHCR, there are 327,788 registered Afghan refugees in Balochistan. In contrast, the Balochistan government officials say there are around one million illegal Afghan immigrants in the province.

“Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran officials gathered in Geneva recently to devise a strategy to repatriate the refugees. Pakistan is the country that has hosted refugees for the longest period,” Maya told the participants.

The head of UNHCR showed dislike for the attitude and behaviour towards Afghan refugees in the aftermath of the Peshawar Army Public School massacre, Maya told The Express Tribune. 

Fabio Varoli, Head of UNHCR Sub Office Quetta, said the refugees are not involved in any terrorism or subversive activity. “UNHCR cooperates with the local administration when it comes to security,” he said. “The registered refugees are confined in camps which are peaceful and are being monitored.”

“UNHCR came and started collecting data in 2005. At least 626,000 Afghan refugees have been repatriated between 2002 and 2014 from Balochistan,” Dunya Aslam Khan said.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Pakistani
    Jan 16, 2015 - 12:38PM

    If Afghanistan is not peaceful, why did ISAF declare victory and leave?

    There are many peaceful areas of Afghanistan where the refugees can be settled.

    Pakistan has become the international “punch bag” for the world.

    Pakistan has to secure its borders. There are ways to repatriate Afghans in a humane and honorable way.

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  • salman
    Jan 16, 2015 - 12:52PM

    That is not our problem. UN can move them to their headquarters in new york.
    UN basically works for the powerful countries not the weak or oppressed.

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  • Saleem
    Jan 16, 2015 - 5:26PM

    Sorry but they need to leave! Pakistan has enough of them already infiltrated into the country. They have brought with them culture of violence and guns which has affected the whole nation. Its about time that all of them be sent back to their country. And if any other country in the world wants them then it is most welcome.

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  • Pakhtun
    Jan 16, 2015 - 7:13PM

    I can understand how hard it is to leave settled position. I know that these Afghan Refugees have developed closed ties among each others and with Pakistanis.

    Unfortunately, it is time for them to move back to their own land and claim ownership of their own land. I am sure they will be happy across borders. I will be very happy for them if these Human Right Conscience Nations (western i.e. Europe / USA) can come over and take all of them in as immigrants.

    I disagree with borders between muslim nations (which is also negated in ISLAM by calling MUSLIMS as one nation) but unfortunately, we MUSLIMS respect Dajali system (developed by West) rather than ISLAMIC system…………

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  • karachiwala
    Jan 16, 2015 - 8:19PM

    Fabio Varoli, Head of UNHCR Sub Office Quetta, said the refugees are not involved in any terrorism or subversive activity.<

    how sure are you about this statement?
    subversive or inversive, you can not say for sure if there has been no support provided by a refugee to incoming terrorist from afghanistan.. be it shelter, money, guidence, food, logistic, communication, facilitation or any help.

    mind bogling statement!

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