What do we owe Afghan refugees?

Published: July 30, 2013

Afghan refugee children, walk at a camp in Nowshera, Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

The Af-Pak situation is a much detested thorn in the side of American foreign policy, and understandably so. It is volatile and exceedingly complex. Foreign policy discourse is saturated with different viewpoints on how America can harness political and military potential. The ongoing debate is both crucial and relevant with the upcoming withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in 2014.

What disturbs me, however, is one critical issue absent from grander schemes on how to deal with Afghanistan and Pakistan – that of refugees.

There remains little analysis of how top-level decisions affect those that flee over borders by the millions to find some semblance of stability in which to ground their lives. These people remain displaced from their homes as well as from current foreign policy rhetoric, despite being major stakeholders in Af-Pak outcomes. The situation is at worst heart wrenching and at best downright absurd.

I would like to start off by giving credit where it is due. Despite its conflicted and controversial role in Afghanistan, Pakistan has played host to millions of Afghan refugees since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan three decades ago.

The image of the dispossessed Afghan takes multiple forms in the eyes of Pakistanis. To name a few: the dirty-faced garbage picker with mismatched shoes, the crusty-eyed child selling facial tissues from car to car and the pre-pubescent girl who shaves her head to look like a boy so she can beg safely on hostile streets.

Although blended in with the usual elements of poverty and destitution, these images serve as daily reminders of a devastating war being fought next door. But let’s move beyond the images and delve in to some hard facts and analysis.

Currently Pakistan harbours upwards of 1.6 million displaced Afghans, who build their homes, earn their livelihoods and educate their children on Pakistani soil. Despite growing discontent among local populations about sharing limited resources with an increasingly settled refugee population, Pakistan has decided to continue playing host, recently extending the repatriation deadline for refugees. Meanwhile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) continues to encourage voluntary repatriation, offering grants of $150 to refugees crossing the border back to Afghanistan.

The repatriation policy potentially exemplifies the classic conundrum of international aid efforts being divorced from grassroots’ reality. Speaking to a social worker who uses vocational schemes to provide economic uplift to Karachi’s Afghan refugees, I was able to gauge the actual effectiveness of international humanitarian initiatives. Upon asking her if the refugees she serves are even aware of UNHCR’s offer of $150 for voluntary repatriation, I received the simple response that they in fact are not.

The conversation was enlightening in terms of understanding the actual day-to-day difficulties faced by the refugees in our midst. She explained how Karachi’s refugee population is scattered in bastis (settlements) around the city. Karachi is a tough and un-pitying city even for locals, but let’s go ahead and add to the mix a language barrier, war trauma, and inability to find proper housing or develop sustainable livelihoods.

Even urban-dwelling refugees encounter a desperate situation, having fled for their lives from a war torn country and facing destitution in another. They yearn for home, but Pakistan offers the opportunity of enrolling their children in school. They also do not have the finances to return, and upon doing so face the risk of becoming one of Afghanistan’s roughly 235, 833 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). In short, Afghan refugees are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

From this we can gauge that refugees don’t need or want the incentive of UNHCR’s charity hand out. What they truly covet is schools and safety for their children, sustainable livelihoods, access to medical and legal services and a chance to feel secure in their homeland. Without this, there is no convincing them to cross back into Afghanistan.

So we need to come to terms with a concrete fact: the Afghan refugees are in Pakistan for the long haul and will most likely soon increase in number. With the upcoming elections in Afghanistan and exit of US troops by 2014, instability and a consequent fresh flow of refugees to Pakistan is highly likely. Pakistani resources will shortly be under added pressure to provide these fleeing, disempowered people with sanctuary.

We need to start talking solutions.

In the refugee situation we witness a rare occasion for Pakistan and America to work hand in hand to accomplish something that concretely improves human lives as well as contributes to the best interests of both countries. Yet, humanitarian solutions continue to be put on the back burner in top-level foreign policy debates in the midst of government double- dealing and hurt feelings. This is a deathly ingredient in the Af-Pak midst. A starving, grieving population is more likely to be caught up in the throes of extremist philosophy than one that is nurtured and healing.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon asserts,

“The long-term challenges of balancing the economic dimensions of the security transition within the broader Kabul process must be linked to the delivery of real and tangible improvements in the lives of ordinary Afghan citizens.”

Pakistan and America need to put misunderstandings aside and start working together, because the Afghan people deserve the promise of opportunity and a chance to rebuild their broken lives.

Follow Raasti on Twitter @raastisaid

Raasti Said

Raasti Said

A graduate from Duke University, who double majored in Public Policy Studies and English. She tweets @twitter.com/RaastiSaid

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Gace

    In one sentence, we owe the Afghani refugees nothing; Pakistan has done more than its fair share and now the world should help. The pitiful sum Pakistan was paid to host these refugees is next to nothing. They should all go back to Afghanistan. Pakistan has suffered the most because of these people who are involved disproportionately in crimes such as smuggling, robberies and prostitution. That’s why Iran keeps the Afghani refugees in camps. If the world cares so much for them, let the rich western nations accept more Afghani asylum seekers because they have more money and resources. I heard that most Afghanis in Western countries don’t work but live in state khayrat called welfare. Pakistan does not have the resources of Western countries to host Afghani refugees and keep paying them welfare. Pakistan has lost billions of dollars due to the Afghanis. It’s time to worry about taking care of Pakistan instead of worrying about refugees from neighbouring countries.Recommend

  • Khadim

    Pakistan is nothing but an imaginary line separating people of the same ethnicity. People of KPK have stronger bonds and relationships with Afghans than they do with Punjab. History shows that artificial divisions like the Durand Line cannot be sustained for too long by force.Recommend

  • Sajjad

    Thanks to Zia Ul Haq for opening the borders. Much respect.Recommend

  • PK

    we owe them absolutely zilch. Nothing whatsoever. They’ll probably grow up hating this nation, and support those who want to harm it through violence. Not to mention blaming the “evil penjawbis” for all trouble.these guys think they’re superior to us in every way.

    Send them back to their own country.

    Please dont censor this comment, im speaking the harsh truth.Recommend

  • Iyaz Ali

    We muslims in India still provide refuge for these 800 million hindus. What do u think on this..Recommend

  • C. Nandkishore

    1.6 million is less than 1% of 180 million population. Since they are not that different from the people of Pakistan its best to treat them as citizens. Recommend

  • Muhammad

    I’m just going to say what’s on everyone’s minds – the Afghan refugees have to leave. We can barely take care of our own people so I don’t understand how we can take this role of harboring so many refugees. The Afghans don’t even like us. They hate us because they think we’re responsible for their country’s situation, and frankly we, as Pakistanis, don’t even know if that’s true. Yet I still wished the Afghans showed us some compassion for taking care of 1.6 million (and possibly more) refugees. Recommend

  • Shiv

    Where is the question of you owing anything to the Afghans? For centuries they have come and taken what they want at will, whether you owe them anything or not.
    You take in millions of Afghans you say, but then you couldn’t or wouldn’t take in just a fewer ten quater of a million * Pakistanis* stranded in Bangladesh!.Recommend

  • PK

    Absolutely NOTHING.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    For The First Time Read the Content of A Truely Liberal WriterRecommend

  • GhostRider

    Finally someone spoke about this epidemic…kudos to author

    @C. Nandkishore: Bangalis and Burmese are of similar Indian ethnicity, lets invite them all to IndiaRecommend

  • Khan

    Did anyone actually read the article? Or did you think it would be easier to show off your ignorance by only reading the title?Recommend

  • Maria

    @Muhammad: The Afghans have been taught by India to hate Pakistanis from 1947 ever since the British left. Afghanistan has been aligned with India so Afghan behaviour with Pakistan has nothing to do with what Pakistan has or hasn’t supposedly done to them. All I know is that Afghans always want to come to Pakistan but then bite the hand that feeds them. Recommend

  • Sara Ahmed

    Amazing article! We need more people like this in Pakistan!!Recommend

  • Afridi Fan

    Durand line is an unnatural division and will fall like the Berlin wall. Afghan refugees are in their own land.Recommend

  • alex

    it is law of nature.air rushes to fill in any vacuum at the earliest. pak cleared its intellectuals by killing or driving out its minorities. now the taliban brains have come to occupy the space thus created.
    if pak still has any abdus salams left,plz send them to india. 10 times in number to promote your national interests& ideology,this is what should be discussed in next high-level indo-pak talks,as kashmir& sir creek are now old topics. one should move with the times you see….that isRecommend

  • http://pakistani342.blogspot.com pakistan342

    There are three million Afghans in Pakistan today who for whatever misconstrued notions of philanthropy we let live in our bosom. We give them access to our meager resources such as schools, universities, hospitals, labor markets, etc.

    Despite this charity, the Afghans hate us – the secularists hate us, their Taliban us, their technocrats hate us, their youth hate us even more – so why are we continuing with this folly.

    There is again an increasing call to arms in all sections of Afghan society to repeat what “Daud Khan” did to Pakistan. These calls permeate the secularists, the zealots, the young and the old. When the Afghans pull another “Daud Khan” on us these three million Afghans have the potential to wreak havoc on us from within.

    The needs of the hour are:
    1. Pakistan should expel all 3 million Afghans refugees from Pakistan – there is no need to host a people who are ungrateful and hostile to Pakistanis
    2. The resources Afghans consume in Pakistan: schools, hospitals, universities should go to Pakistanis – no point in giving these to a people, Afghans, who hate us Pakistanis
    3. Pakistan should not provide transit trade to Afghans – it will reduce drugs and guns in Pakistan.
    Recommend

  • Mahboob ulhaq

    Dear all ,

    As refugee i spent 22 years in pakistan , first i am thanks to them but the thing is here that many our Educated people were not allowed to work in pakistan Goverment or privete organization just working as Labour , 2nd Most of the oversess Afghan are living in different Countries and they all are sending amount in pakistan means Economic Growth , Manay Afghan invested Billion of $ in Pakistan in Different Sectore Creat Employement again Economic Growth , about Eduaction Most of them they are studing by privest and pay the many , And thanks from Gov of Pak for some schalorship to our student , when i come to Afghanistan and swa Many pakistani are working in high salary in most of the organization .

    Afghanistan Best Location for pakistan Products are Reached to Tajikistan , Uzbakistan , Turkminstan and other countries and we Afghan just want one way to Export and import Products but there is no way for Us .
    Personall i think that if both Countries Make one union , Peace , stabaility in both countries they will be Economic Growth , Employeement and Happiness rather than Training other People .
    Thanks .Recommend

  • Adi

    So you’re saying Afghanistan and Pakistan are not the same country?!?!?!?!?Recommend

  • Eemaan Yusufzai

    To all these afghani pukhtons who are too thick-skulled to comprehend that Pakistan is our country:keep your mouths shut. If we were part of your country, we’d be in the same drama as you! We are pakistani pukhtuns, nor afghan anymore. History is history, now pakistan is our country! We don’t want to be part of your country anymore! Pakistan Zindabad!Recommend

  • choclet

    a fact: afghanistan was against the creation of pakistan. if the refugees can come all the way to karachi how many settled in punjab? or crossed over to india which is the afghan’s first love! and how many left for central asian states??Recommend

  • Legend

    Wow! Looking at the comments on this article, I can see that Pakistanis are such hateful and racist people. No different than their Arab masters.Recommend

  • Afridi Fan

    @Eemaan Yusufzai:

    sorry but all lands west of Indus belongs to afghansRecommend

  • Milind

    Expel the Afghans who are Muslims and brothers by definition (of the Pakistani Muslims). But shed crocodile tears for Burmese Rohinghyas and Indian Muslims.Recommend

  • Milind

    “What do we owe Afghan refugees?”

    The entire KPK province down till Karachi can be handed over to Afghanistan/Afghan refugees. Its their land.Recommend

  • Ali S

    The sooner they leave the better.Recommend

  • Ski ju mo

    @Gace: I heard that most Afghanis in Western countries don’t work but live in state khayrat called welfare You only heard but I have actually seen how Afghanis live in western countries. They live much better than Pakistanis and Afghani girls are very hardworking,infact its surprising how well they adapt themselves in western society . Pakistan should have thought thousands times to work for Americans against soviets in afghanistan and now they are getting back only what they deserve . Afghans are Afghans and Indians are Indians only Pakistanis in between claim themselves to be offspring of Arabs and turks. Accept the reality and stop hating poor Afghans, let them live with dignity because there is some pattern in people talking here and its similar to talks about Bangladeshis in 1971… Recommend

  • Armaan

    Just a question…. why do you call your so called Atomic weapons with Afghan Rulers names ? Dont you have any one good leader to be named after him or her ?,,, is it not a shame for you pakis that you name your weapons with Afghan Rulers who have ruled Hindustan..?.. call them Jinnah or Musharraf or Zardari Missiles.. lol…Is it not a shame that you dont have even one real leader to name them after it.. and you call Afghans refugees…… shame shame shame….You pakistanis know the reality….. but cant express it….. dont talk about history.. because you were just born from Indian womb 65 years ago.. so better call yourselves Indians…not PakistanisRecommend

  • Armaan

    @Eemaan Yusufzai:
    so you mean.. your father and mother were also born for Indian womb… why dont you call yourself Indian.. atleast you can watch or sing Indian movies songs in peace…Recommend

  • @Armaan

    What? Go troll elsewhere. We’ll call our misslies whatever we want and no, we aren’t Indian. Go comment on the recent food poisoning in Bihar and overcome your pathological obsession with all things Pakistan. Recommend

  • @all Afghans

    With a literacy rate of 28% (Pakistan’s is 60%), GDP of $33 Billion (Pakistan’s is $551 billion), per capita income of $600 (Pakistan’s is $1400), you still have the time to tell PAKISTANI PAKHTUNS your dreams about Loy Afghanistan and erasing the Durrand line?

    Your own Emir signed the agreement in 1893, and your alliance with the Soviet Union to gain assistance against Pakistan to “reclaim” Pakistani Pakhtun lands led to the eventual invasion and destruction of Afghanistan.
    ….
    The last time Afghanistan crossed the Durrand line in the name of Pashtun nationalism (Bajaur incursion, 1962), Pakistani Paktuns themselves repelled the invasion.
    ….
    Afghanistan is home to Uzbek, Tajik Hazara. Why don’t you go reclaim Uzbekistan or Tajikistan? Guess you can’t treat them as equal citizens and harp on about Punjabi domination in Pakistan? How ridiculous.
    Recommend

  • @all Indians

    ET, this is the third comment I’m writing, I sincerely hope you publish my earlier comment under the name of “@all Afghans”
    ….
    Dear Indian friends, please feel free to support Afghanistan’s internationally unrecognised claims over KPK but remember: the same British Raj that drew up the Durrand line also made the McMohan line separating China and India.
    ….
    The day you hand Arunchal Pradesh over to India, you will have the right to dispute Pakistan’s borders with Afghanistan as they stand today.Recommend

  • Socrates

    Why not send the Muhajirs in Karachi back to India as well? At least the Afghans are in their own land. The land west of Indus legally belongs to Afghanistan, which Pakistan has occupied by force.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    @S Nandishore
    Agreed and its been done already most of afghans are now part of Pakistani society and been traveling on pak passport and carrying local ID cards, even marrying with locals I know many by myself.Recommend

  • Curious

    A well meaning blog but discussion has generated into something nonsensical. Pity!Recommend

  • Mansi

    you owe Afghans everything, it is due to the brutal persistence of their ancestors that the lands of now Pakistan became Islamic. They won this land for you fair and square, now they will come to claim it.Recommend

  • tanveer

    you are right @C. Nandkishore: Recommend

  • tanveer

    great answer @Khadim: Recommend

  • tanveer

    Yes@Afridi Fan: Recommend

  • tanveer afridi

    use I instead of We, its your personal view at best, i wonder how can you represent us (pukhtun) explain plz @Eemaan Yusufzai: Recommend

  • Dear Raasti

    What do you propose are the solutions to this refugee problem? Both on the Af-Pak-US policy level, as well as on a municipal one?Recommend

  • Moiz Omar

    Pakistan owes nothing to the Afghanistanis. We need to deport all of them from Pakistan and close off the Pakistan Afghanistan border fully. Recommend

  • Nasir Baloch

    Just don’t dump them in Balochistan or else…Recommend

  • @Afghans/Indians

    For us to understand what to do with Afghan refugees, we must understand why they are here.

    In 1893, Afghanistan’s Emir signed away 70% of his kingdom’s Pashtun population to the British Raj. In 1948, Afghanistan rejected the “Durrand line” and demanded the land back. Border incursions built up throughout the 1950′s and culminated in the Bajaur incursion of 1962, when a small scale Afghan invasion of Pakistan was driven back by local Pakistani Pakhtuns.

    Pakistan’s Pakhtuns have never shown any desire to join Afghanistan. Mainstream Pashtun nationalist parties such as the ANP have even disavowed the idea, as Pakistani Pakhtuns have integrated into Pakistan’s bureaucracy and military, voting for national parties and becoming fervently Pakistani.

    Afghanistan allied itself to the USSR as a counterbalance to US allied Pakistan. This led to the Soviet invasion and destruction of Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s obsession with undoing the Durrand line had led to its utter devastation. The British drew many borders, including the McMohan line dividing Indian Arunachal Pradesh and China. The day India gives Arunachal to India, we will give KPK to Afghanistan.

    Despite seeing Pakistani Pakhtuns apathy towards their ravaged state, some Afghans continue to claim it is the right of Afghans to live in Pakistan, while they can’t even accept Tajik, Uzbek or Hazara as true Afghans. The answer is to stop pussyfooting and remove this element from Pakistan through mass repatriation.

    The first to line up for this will the Pakistani Paktuns, who have excelled in business and culture in Pakistan, losing jobs to the Afghan who insults his nation. Pakhtuns have more to gain from an economy of $500 billion than one of hardly $30 billion (fact – check wikipedia)

    So, author, you too should support the repatriation of this fifth column (IN A HUMANE FASHION). We owe them nothing. They owe us gratitudeRecommend

  • Maria

    @Armaan: If you look up history, you’ll soon learn that Hindu Shahi rule dominated Kabul in what became Afghanistan for many centuries so you should ask yourself what Indian womb you were born from. While your at it, also look up the birthplace of Ahmad Shah Abdalli which is Multan in present Pakistan. You seem to forget that there are more Pashtuns in Pakistan than in Afghanistan and we are proud citizens of Pakistan. Just remind yourself that all of South Asia was ruled by Mughals before it broke up and before the British came to help create India in 1947. You want to poke fun at Pakistanis for being part of British India but it was ok when Afghanistan, Pakistan and India were part of the Mughal Empire? As for Indian movies and songs, are they not even more popular in Kabul and amongst the ruling Tajiks in Afghanistan than even in Pakistan? That’s why so many Indians here always support the Afghans and vice versa. Maybe the best answer for the refugees is to go to India if they don’t want to go back to Afghanistan.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Armaan: Just a question…. why do you call your so called Atomic weapons with Afghan Rulers names ? Dont you have any one good leader to be named after him or her ?

    Those rulers and other Muslim invaders made Pakistanis ancestors Muslims. Even they forced them to convert and ruled over them, Pakistanis feel proud about them.

    . Recommend

  • http://alinaqash.wordpress.com Ali

    Expecting the americans to help us is, with no offence intended, stupid especially after what the americans have caused in pakistan ever since 2003.
    We should STOP thinking that afghans are not humans like us, ‘civilized beings’. Instead, we need to try doing something constructive rather than keep repeating we owe them nothing! Repeating just that will do us precisely nothing!.
    Recommend

  • Insaan

    Pakistan created those refugees to gain strategic depth into Afghanistan. Afghans are part of your ummah. Also write a Blog about Bihari Pakistani refugees waiting in camps in Bangladesh to come to the land of pure. Pakistan made money in the name of those refugees. Now no money can be made, Pakis want Afghans to go away..Recommend

  • Adil Uddin

    Presently, Afghans have got a negative opinion about Pakistan but those who have lived in Pakistan might be able to differentiate between the corrupt Pakistani politicians and locals of Pakistan who tried to help Afghan refugees in a genuine way. Pakistan did host the largest number of refugees after Afghan War but our elites and generals etc….got money for settling them, however the locals got nothing but had to face a burden and rising crime rate. It’s not hard to get citizenship for illegal immigrants, therefore, many Afghans with criminal tendencies went abroad on Pakistani passports and later on their illegal activities such as drug smuggling brought a bad reputation to our country. It’s hard to tell if anyone has got a criminal background when thousands of refugees come at your doorsteps. I also wonder why no other nation of the Muslim Ummah especially UAE, Malaysia or Brunei bothered to accept and accommodate Afghan refugees and later on grant them their country’s citizenships.

    Right now many Afghans talk about the progress of their nation and how Pakistan is simply a failed nation who is jealous of them, then how come hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees continue to live in Pakistan, and why Kabul doesn’t seem interested in taking it’s own citizens back? Interestingly, they refuse to call Afghan refugees in Pakistan refugees and say that they are actually living in their own country as there are many Afghans who still refuse to accept Durand Line and call Pakistan a fake and artificial state formed by land grabbing and occupation. And it was not India but Afghanistan in 1950s who objected over Pakistan’s inclusion in UNO. On social media one can easily notice the racist remarks Afghans use against Punjabis and Muhajirs/Urdu Speakings. And in the above comments, someone indeed tried to create a wedge between Pashtuns and Urdu Speakings by saying that instead Muhajirs should be deported back to India. Recommend

  • i-Afghan

    emphasized text@Adil
    one can easily notice the racist remarks Afghans use against Punjabis and Muhajirs/Urdu Speakings

    One can also see racist remarks against few Afghans who have wasted their energy to build it and those who contributed to its economic growth. There are millions of pakis who have escaped pakistan as was granted visa and recognized as genuin asylum seeker in western countries but pakistan cant even deal with 1.5 million of Afghans who are working and contribuing to the nation.

    I also read above somoene said Afghans used pakistani passport to go abroad, is it a joke why somone use pakistani passport while their national passport was more credible. I can with garuantee tell you that some pakis cliamed to be Afghan and moved to western coutnries.

    Not all Afghans hate Pakistanis, there are Afghans who appreciate pakis help and support. Those Afghan who make negative remarks doesnt represent the whole Afghanistan and same thing I am sure applies on your side if someone see the above remarks will defniftley say pakis are racist but I dont think that is the case!

    Another point i want to make is that sometimes I see pakistanis compare Afghanistan economy, litracy and … with pakistan. I am not sure why you are so obsessed with it, comparing your country with Afghanistan knowing that Afghanistan has had almost 4 decades of conflicts, if you are brave enough why dont you compare it with India the twin brother of pakistan!Recommend

  • mind control

    What do we owe Afghan refugees?

    I thought Afghans were the ‘Original’ owners of Pakistan?
    The founder of the Mughal Empire, Babur came from Afghanistan. And as the Pakistan Study books rightly show, No Bbur= No Pakistan.
    Looking at the way the Ghaznavis and Abdalis and Ghoris are revered in Pakistan, I thought Pakistan will show some gratitude towards the Afghans, for providing them with Heroes and a historical narrative.Recommend

  • Pradhan

    To those who want Afgan to go back
    .
    What happened to muslim ummah about 0.5% refugees came from your neighboring country and you are shouting like this I wonder how in those days people would have reacted to Bangalis coming to your land. Recommend

  • http://khatirnama.blogspot.com Samiullah khatir

    Surely we owe nothing to Afghan refuagees more as we have played our job well to them in last 3 decades.
    Now they should go and construct their own motherland even liberate their homeland from US.. am i wrong???Recommend

  • Milind

    @Maria – “As for Indian movies and songs, are they not even more popular in Kabul and amongst the ruling Tajiks in Afghanistan than even in Pakistan”

    Well these songs are also popular in the Middle-East and the Mediterranean countries… Its only you folks who try to reject these (officially but watch these surreptiously) in order to shake of your Indian roots and appear more Arab.Recommend

  • Rashid

    Every Pakistani should be grateful to the Afghans and Afghanistan. There would have been no Pakistan, if there were no Afghanistan. The Afghans not invading India repeatedly, not allowing the passage to other invaders from the west, would have kept us under the kafir rule, till today. Afghans have as much right in Pakistan as any Pakistani has. Recommend

  • Pradhan

    It seems ET didn’t publish my comment so To all Pakistani friends who says they want Afgan refugee to go back
    .
    Guys tell me one thing why did they come to your country in the first place?? I though it was due to Afgan Taliban right?? STOP supporting Taliban, close QETTA SHURA, ban Haqqani group. You do all this before NATO forces leave Afganistan and those Afgan refugees will leave also. If you wait till NATO forces and then do all those things that I have mentioned, which I think is Pakistan’s policy so far to get the strategic depth in Afganistan you will get more refugees.
    .
    Don’t worry about GDP and all those statistics, just get those guys within a year Afganistan will get enough foreign aid and investments that you have ever got in last 65 years.
    .
    But I don’t think you will do that coz then you will never get a chance to pose like a hero and how you are affected due to humanitarian approach toward Afganistan. Recommend

  • Pradhan

    @@Afghans/Indians:
    .
    You have mentioned McMahon Line twice. Please read the below link carefully. It is China who doesn’t recognize the line. As per McMahon line Arunachal pradesh is part of India so is Aksai Chin.
    .
    1962 war happened coz India pushed Chinese army out of Arunachal Pradesh (The terrain is in favor of India) and in response china opened a front in North (Thanks to Pakistan’s military Intelligence) by crossing McMahon line which they have captured still. Thats how India lost the war. Arunachal Pradesh is still a part of India and will always be.
    .
    for your reference:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Indianborderdispute#TheMcMahonLineRecommend

  • sterry

    @mind control: No Babur and the house of Timur are originally from Central Asia- specifically the Fergana Valley. The Mughals were not Afghans but fought to opress the Afghans at times the same way they oppressed other natives of South Asia. But it is true that Kabul was a big centre of Buddhism and that Hindus ruled at Kabul before the Afghans were converted to Islam by Persians and the people of Sind. The Afghans were ruled by the Persians until relatively recently. They are used to being controlled by others which is why they blindly follow the wishes of their Indian allies instead of worrying about their own country.Recommend

  • http://khatirnama.blogspot.com Samiullah khatir

    Please let all Afghan go back or otherwise this country would suffer more Recommend

  • Ghani Khan

    @sterry:
    My friend go attend some history classes and learn some history!Recommend

  • KhanJi

    @Pradhan:
    Well said mateRecommend

  • Sam

    Unfortunate that the author is talking about a humanitarian crisis – people suffering on the ground – and the commentators are too busy taking racist slingshots at each other. Recommend

  • sterry

    @Ghani Khan: What history do you refute? That there was Hindu Shahi rule at Kabul for centuries? That Kabul and parts of Afghanistan were Bhuddist for centuries and that Afghanis are so ashamed of this that they destroyed the Bamiyan Buddha? That Kabul and Afghanistan was ruled by the Persians and that the Persians used Afghans as slaves until the time of Nadir Shah. Can you deny that Sind which is known as Bab Ul Islam in South Asia was Muslim within 100 years of the Holy Prophet long before the Afghans were converted to Islam? People in glass houses should not throw stones as they say. Rather than complain about Pakistan and make fun of Pakistanis, Afghanis need to do some soul searching and stop hating themselves. Recommend

  • Ghani Khan

    @sterry
    Please my friend go attend a history class, mama and dada would be proud of you!
    forget the two centuries of slavery under british rule…Recommend

  • Ghani Khan

    @sterry:
    Afghanistan was ruled by the Persians and that the Persians used Afghans as slaves

    My friend for your information we are the Persians you mentioned above and i dont think we at the same time can rule Afghanistan and become slave of our own!Recommend

  • Insaan

    @pakistan342:
    Pakistan is the reason those Afghans became refugees. Your government is responsible for most of Afghans problems from pre-Russian invasion to US coming back to the region.

    Pakistan made money from those refugees, money donated by UN, other agencies and other countries. Now Pakistan can’t make any money and wants Afghans to go back.

    Bihari Muslims who made great sacrifices for Pakistan are still living in camps in Pakistan waiting for Pakistan to bring them to Pakistan.

    Pakistan created talibans and used them to make Afghanistan an Islamic Emirates. Pakistan is responsible for deaths of millions of Afghans.

    Pakistan gets involved in wars to make money.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Maria: The Afghans have been taught by India to hate Pakistanis from 1947

    You should get some award from Pakistan government for your research. You can also add Pakistan has been taught to hate Shias and Ahmadis by Indians.
    All Muslim Pakistani terrorists work for RAW, USA and Mossad.Recommend