Are Afghan Refugees Children of a Lesser God?
Afghan Refugees and the growing Afghanophobia in Pakistan. It was so disturbing for me to see my Pakistani brothers and sisters who started a trend on Twitter with hashtags #KickOutAfghans. I went through all the tweets and for sure it directly targeted my sentiments and other Afghans too.
Well, to be honest nobody has the right to pass such statements, because Afghans are here under UNHCR agreement and Pakistan is a member of UN, more over The Govt of Pakistan receives $133 million a year for Afghan Refugees from UNHCR.
The reality is that Afghan Refugees in Pakistan should have been integrated long time ago. Many of these Refugees were born and brought up in Pakistan and most of them proved to be productive citizens. It is strange that people who came to Pakistan particularly Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa(KPK), over 35 years ago are still being called “Refugees” Majar or Kabalay” and their loyalties being questioned. Majority of Afghan refugees stayed in Pashtun belt of Pakistan where there was a natural sympathy for them for historical and cultural reasons.
Migration is an unpleasant consequence of war and the fact is that most of those migrating from Afghanistan were trying to save themselves from the imposed War. And Only those become refugees in a civil war who feel that the fighting is meaningless. Now since the growing Afghanophobia has got place in the hearts and minds of every Pakistani, I fear are refugees children of a lesser God? One should look back and think what made them leave their homes, and who put them into all this situation and left them suffer it all alone?
Pakistani police beating Afghan Refugee in an operation by Capital Development Authority (CDA) against Afghan Slums in Islamabad
Although Afghan Refugees in Pakistan were having tough time after Peshawar APS attack, However now after the recent torkham clashes Afghan refugees statues in Pakistan changed from refuges to Afghan soldiers,nearly 1200 Afghan refuges were nabbed by KPK Police in this holy month of Ramadan.
Yes, no doubt we are thankful to Pakistan and it’s people who helped refugees in hard times and provided shelter, education and much more but Bashing and blaming the refugees is very inappropriate, the growing intolerance with hate campaigns on Social Networks and trends on twitter like #KickOutAfghans and #AfghanRefugeesThreatToPak to Pakistan will lead the path to more inflame the hatred among the masses of both the countries which is very worrying and At least insulting Good bye is not the way for the refugees from Pakistan’s side.
Article by Khalid Amiri
The writer Khalid Amiri is an Afghan Refugee, Young Student Activist in Pakistan.