On the world refugee day, It is very important for Pakistanis who want to kick out almost 2 million Afghan refugees to understand that this point of view and treatment is not ethical. We want to kick the Afghanis out because they are a part of the problems on the western border. Allegedly, Indian intelligence agencies are backing them up to create issues for Pakistan but isn’t it our failure that our neighbour is not backed by us but by our enemies?
As an immigrant living in Canada, I am aware of the importance of diversity and acceptance. Racism is on its all time high. Islamophobia is costing a lot of lives. Muslims have been very strong advocates of diversity and Anti hate movements across the world.
Isnt it hypocritical that Pakistanis want to remove Afghanis and yet oppose the Muslim ban?
In my university, during prayers and other social gatherings, I became friends with several Afghan Canadians. They have respected me a lot and said good things about Pakistan and appreciate our support of their refugees. This made me regret a lot of bad things I used to say to my Afghan friends during my time in Pakistan. I was a hardliner against free and unmonitored movement of Afghan refugees and the porous western border. I didnt realize that Pakistan itself was creating problems.
I feel that It is my duty to inform people about some facts that might change the thinking of Pakistan about Afghan Refugees.
- Afghan Refugees moved to Pakistan because of the wars and unrest. Just like the unrest our Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW was facing when he migrated to Meddinah
- Afghan Refugees didn’t leave their country by choice. They left because of the wars that Pakistan has been a part of by supplying weopens and militants
- Afghan Refugees are not a financial burden on Pakistan because UNHCR grants us 400 USD per family which is not spent on refugees by the government
- Afghan Refugees are a vital part of or economy. Both in terms of the remittances they bring in and the business activities they carry out
- Afghan Refugees stayed here longer because of the delayed war campaigns of NATO
- Afghan Refugees have no access to Embassies and Counsulates of many countries in their homeland and visa services are mostly offered through Pakistan.
Hence there is no justification for the epidemic of hate and anger against Afghans. Pakistan should focus more on improving its foreign policy, immigration and vetting process rather than hating on and forcing Afghanis out of our country. This will improve bilateral relations and create an environment in which a peaceful Afghanistan can prosper after NATO forces leave Afghanistan.
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