Returning illegal Afghan refugees to their home country, Pakistan’s stance, a broader outlook and global responsibility

Perhaps this is the moment of Now or Never. Despite its lack of resources, political instability, and uncertainty about its own security, Pakistan has been carrying the burden of Afghan refugees for decades. If we go back in history, we can see that our neighbour Afghanistan has encountered many difficulties, such as the wars with Russia and the United States, as well as countless internal threats. However, through it all, Pakistan has been essential in supporting its Muslim neighbour when it has needed it most. Pakistan has not ratified the UN Convention on Refugees. Nevertheless, when almost 3 million Afghans migrated to Pakistan in 1979, it did so with great affection. However, Pakistan now makes it quite evident that it’s time to return!

The different viewpoints and facets of the decision made by Pakistan’s Interim Government are described in this article. What is their position, and what is the general consensus?  

To Whom Pakistan is genuinely repatriating

In an exclusive interview with Spot Light on Aaj TV, Interim PM Kakar stated unequivocally that Aliens should leave the land of Pakistan.

We must also keep in mind that, in a conversation about the repatriation of Afghan refugees, Salman Javed, one of Pakistan’s security experts, also made it very apparent that, “while more than 3 million legal immigrants will continue to live in Pakistan, only 1.4 million illegal immigrants would be returned.”

The causes behind these Abrupt events under many storylines

The question that now needs to be answered is: Why such a rapid action? Two years have passed since the Americans were driven out and the Taliban gained control. The following list of arguments and viewpoints follows from the response:

  • Pakistan’s current top worries are peaceful elections and security. Pakistan will have elections in 2023, and because of security concerns, preparations have been accelerated. This July, at a political event, a suicide bomber killed 44 people, and security analysts blame the Taliban. Waqar Khan, a defence expert for Pakistan, said that once the Americans left, things got worse. He claims that TTP is partially supported by the Taliban’s Government
  • Food insecurity has escalated in Pakistan as a result of low agricultural productivity, shaky governmental frameworks, and harsh weather. The flood of 2022 also impacted millions. Pakistan doesn’t have enough for its own citizens, so how can it support its neighbors in Afghanistan? The fact that inflation is increasing daily as a result of a shortage of resources is also a major worry. The Afghan government must realize that Pakistan is no longer responsible for the illegal immigrants living there in this time of need.  
  • Another viewpoint that is circulating claims that Pakistan is employing an agenda-shaping policy in an attempt to deflect attention away from the current political climate. A single party is receiving the majority of support due to political unrest. The goal of addressing all of this and controlling public pressure is what is driving the agenda for the settlements of illegal Afghan refugees.

In my true perspective, Pakistan is a sovereign state. It is free to make its own decisions, of course, but it is also unable to separate itself from the globalized system. The international community’s outcry is somewhat understandable given that Afghanistan has been experiencing severe food security issues and has been completely rocked by three consecutive earthquakes. Therefore, Pakistan ought to extend the deadline or at the very least make things easier for unauthorized immigrants. 

The world must recognize its obligations

For the international community, they must assist in this time of need rather than criticize. As of right now, 200 Afghans have taken special flights to the UK. There will be a weekly flight carrying 200 Afghans. In spite of this, thousands of applications for special immigration visas have been waiting, and the USA visa application process has been incredibly slow. Afghan girl Maryam Saadat, 21 years old, committed suicide as a result of a delayed visa. Her wait has lasted almost two years. The world should recognize its humanitarian obligations and stop pressuring Pakistan, which is already dealing with several crises at once.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

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