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Archive for category Afghan Regugees

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The Afghan War Settlement

 

 

There-Are-18-Million-Afghan-Refugees-In-Pakistan-Alone-And-More-Than-28-Million-Total

Reference: 

The Afghan War Settlement

 

 

In 1979, Russian forces invaded Afghanistan. Communism came to the threshold of Pakistan when forces led by Babrak Karmel overthrew the Government of Afghanistan. Some 120,000 Russian troops entered Afghanistan .The Afghan people organized a resistance force against this blatant aggression. The Soviet forces suffered greatly in terms of manpower and material, and the Afghan War proved expensive even for a world power like the Soviet Union.

It has always been said about Afghanistan that it can be invaded and occupied easily but it is very difficult to hold and control it. Afghans have a history of resisting foreign invaders. The British imperial power failed in all three attempts to occupy and control Afghanistan. The Soviets were to learn the same lesson. In the beginning, the Soviet army was successful in occupying and controlling Afghanistan.

The Numbers Given Below are Not Accurate:The Are 10 Times Higher:Afghan Refugee Camps in Pakistan Province of KPK, Balochistan,Punjab

General Zia stood against the spread of communism. He reiterated his solution to the Afghanistan crisis in 1983 in New Delhi. He said that Pakistan has given political asylum to millions of Afghans. He demanded the expulsion of Russian forces from Afghanistan. America responded to the call of Pakistan and flooded Pakistan with monetary help to finance the anti-communist regime in Afghanistan and to equip the freedom fighters. The freedom fighters, the mujahideen, put forward a strong resistance to the Russian invasion. Although the Afghans suffered enormous causalities in the beginning of the war but the turning point in the war came when the U. S. supplied them with surface-to-air Stinger missiles.

danger. As Pakistan was a frontline state, huge amounts of money, military equipment and aid arrived in Pakistan. The huge amounts of aid that poured in propped up Zia’s government. With the Afghan problem, a new phase of modernization of the military began. The arms provided to Afghanistan freedom fighters were also provided to the Pakistan Army. As a result the Pakistan Army became better equipped.

Other than the problems faced due to the Afghan War efforts, the Soviet Empire was breaking apart at the seams. This led the Soviets to seek peace in Afghanistan. Negotiations on Afghanistan were carried out under Zia’s Government, and the Geneva Accord was signed on April 14, 1988, under which the Soviet Union agreed to withdraw its forces in two installments .The Soviet Government lived up to its commitment of withdrawal of forces according to the agreed timetable.

The victory in Afghanistan was achieved at a great cost to Pakistan. It had to look after and feed more than three million Afghan refugees that had crossed over to Pakistan. The refugees were a great economic burden on Pakistan. Not only this but, they also caused the problem of drugs and gunrunning in the country.

Long after the Soviet forces had left Afghanistan, fighting continued between the various factions of the mujahideen. With the emergence of the Taliban, Pakistan found itself an ally in Afghanistan that enforced peace and virtually eliminated the drug cultivation. After the September 11 tragedy of 2001, world attention again focused on Afghanistan as they considered it as training grounds of terrorists responsible for the tragedy. The Talibans were removed by power and a U. S. led coalition installed an interim government in Afghanistan, which till today keeps a fragile peace in the country. Meanwhile Pakistan continues to suffer numerous problems from the legacy of the Afghan War such as refugees, drugs, guns, crime, and terrorism.

Courtesy:

A great site for history of Pakistan

http://storyofpakistan.com/the-afghan-war-settlement

This article was last updated on Sunday, June 01, 2003.

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2015 UNHCR country operations profile – Pakistan

 

 

 

 

UNHCR 2015 planning figures for Pakistan
Type of population Origin January 2015 December 2015
Total in country Of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total in country Of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total 2,311,750 2,311,750 2,352,080 2,352,080

 

 

| Overview |

 

 

 

Working environment

  • Pakistan hosts almost 18 million registered Afghan refugees – still the largest protracted refugee population globally. Since 2002, UNHCR has facilitated the return of 3.8 million registered Afghans from Pakistan.

  • Efforts to address the needs of Afghan refugees and their host communities, and to advance durable solutions, are undertaken within the framework of the regional Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR), the tripartite agreement on voluntary repatriation, and the Government of Pakistan’s national policy on Afghan refugees.

  • To complement UNHCR and partners’ international support, the Government of Pakistan has extended Afghan refugees’ Proof of Registration (PoR) cards until the end of 2015, issued birth certificates for 800,000 Afghan refugee children, provided land for several refugee villages, and given refugees access to public schools and health clinics.

  • In August 2014, there were 714,548 registered internally displaced people (IDPs) in need of humanitarian assistance due to the ongoing security operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The North Waziristan emergency has further displaced approximately 500,000 people.

  • The operating environment for humanitarian actors in Pakistan remains volatile, with fragile security, as well as access, social and economic challenges likely to affect humanitarian operations. In order to improve outreach to populations of concern and to build local capacity, UNHCR works closely with local partners and government counterparts.

People of concern

The main groups of people of concern planned for in 2015 under the Pakistan operation include: Afghan refugees, of whom approximately one-third live in refugee villages, and two-thirds in urban and rural host communities; some 7,000 asylum-seekers and individually-recognized refugees from various countries (mostly Afghans), living mainly in urban areas; IDPs, including those relocated by military operations and ethnic/religious conflicts in FATA, and, since the beginning of military operations in June 2014, IDPs from North Waziristan; and three groups presumed to be stateless or at risk of statelessness in Pakistan, namely Bengalis and Biharis, as well as Rohingyas from Myanmar.

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The rising threat of terrorism and Afghan refugees in Pakistan

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Pakistan suffered a great shock with three major bomb attacks carried out in the country in the past month. In a recent attack, six people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up near the Lahore police headquarters. Less than two weeks ago, a Shia mosque in Peshawar was attacked during the Friday prayer (the most crowded time in a mosque), which killed 20 civilians and injured more than 50 people.

The Pakistani Taliban undertook both attacks. Mohammad Horasani, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, made a statement regarding the attacks and said the reason for the attack was the execution by the Pakistani government last December of Dr. Usman, who was said to be the mastermind behind the attack on the Pakistani Army general headquarters in October 2009. Horasani also said they would continue to take revenge and that these attacks were just the start.

The gradual increase in attacks that target civilians in Pakistan points to the possible chaos in the country, which is going through a very critical period in terms of security and stability. Less than a month ago, another Shia mosque in Shikarpur was attacked, and more than 60 civilians died. In another attack on a military high school in Peshawar on Dec. 16, more than 150 people were killed, including 134 children.

Following the attacks, the death penalty, which had been abolished several years ago, was reinstated and the militants who were held responsible for the military high school attack were executed. The main purpose of the attacks carried out by different groups in the Pakistani Taliban in the past month was to call the Pakistani government to account and take revenge.

It was declared earlier that a wing of the Pakistani Taliban paid homage to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). ISIL aims to increase its activities in Central Asia as well as in South Asia, another unstable, volatile region after the Middle East. The Pakistani administration has taken new measures in order to follow an active and effective policy against terrorist groups especially after the military high school attack. After reinstating the death penalty, the Pakistani government also established military courts to make an imprisonment sentence quicker and increased the number and expanded the area of attacks in particular in areas close to the border of Afghanistan.

However, these measures are problematic as they either focus on the expansion of current military operations or on the militants who have carried out the attacks. There is no policy aiming to prevent possible attacks and take pre-emptive action. Yet, there has to be efficient and effective policies that aim to deal with the daily problems of the Shiites and other religious minority groups such as discrimination and violence.

The Afghan refugees in Pakistan are one of the most affected groups from such attacks, which have increased gradually. These refugees, who had to flee Afghanistan due to the climate of war in the past 35 years and took refuge in Pakistan, have been experiencing hardship here but at the same time they live shoulder-to-shoulder with their Pakistani neighbors. In the wake of the recent attacks, Afghan refugees began to be exposed to violence and marginalization from Pakistani officials and their Pakistani neighbors. Even though the Pakistani Taliban carried out the military high school attack, two of the attackers were Afghan, and this is one of the main reasons there has been use of violence and anger towards Afghan refugees.

The recent attacks in the country brought the Pakistani government and the opposition together on the same page after a very long time. It is clearly very important to get wide public support on the measures taken and develop policies to fight against terrorism. However, it is also a serious issue that these decisions and their implementations should be “right” and inclusive and should not exclude and factionalize the Afghan refuges and religious minority groups. After all, Afghanistan is currently not capable of providing a peaceful and prosperous life for these people due to its unstable and unsecure environment.


*Salih Doğan is a research fellow at the Turkey Institute, a Ph.D. candidate at Keele University and a research assistant at Turgut Özal University.

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