The Afghan Ingrate Spanta: Pakistan’s Reward for Providing Sanctuary to 4 Million Afghans

PTT Commentary: All good deeds never go unpunished. Pakistan’s reward for providing sanctuary for 5 million Afghans during the Soviet Invasion in the 1980s is reflected in the vitriol of Mr.Spanta.

A Long Record of Asylum

For more than two decades Pakistan hosted the largest single refugee population in the world. It was estimated that 1.1 million refugees remained in refugee camps at the start of 2003, after more than 1.5 million repatriated the previous year. In addition, an unknown but substantial number of Afghans were known to live in Pakistan’s urban areas.
It was decided by the Tripartite Commission to close three of the camps established after 11 September 2001 early in 2004. Repatriation in the previous two years had reduced the populations and the locations, without any water, made them hard to maintain.
Afghan refugees in Pakistan are not a homogeneous group. They fled to Pakistan in several waves starting with the Soviet invasion of their country in 1979. They came from different parts of Afghanistan and have various ethnic backgrounds. The last refugee wave – nearly 300,000 Afghans — reached Pakistan after the attacks of 11 September 2001.
Conditions for Afghan refugees in Pakistan differ greatly. Some still live in tents, others in mud house settlements that look like the villages they left behind. Those in the camps established after the 11 September attacks receive food assistance through the World Food Programme while all the camps receive medical and education support. In urban areas, few Afghan refugees are fully integrated and well-off. The majority of urban refugees are in slum areas of Pakistan’s major cities, barely surviving on casual labour. Understandably, the unprecedented rush of Afghans seeking to return to their country in 2002 came first and foremost from the urban areas.

Any Pakistani who has an illusion that Afghanistan is a friend of Pakistan must read this. The Afghan writer Rangin Dadfar Spanta wrote his piece for an American paper known for it’s anti-Pakistan vitriol.

With friends like these we do not need enemies…

Rangin Dadfar Spanta

 Foreign Office dismisses Spanta

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