A DREAM GONE SOUR
In 1951, when the representatives from various states and organizations had gathered in Geneva for a convention on refugees, they should have been contemplating a world where the recently-founded United Nations Organization would help upholding global peace and universal equality. The refugee convention would, in such a world, deal with only the exceptional circumstances when some unfortunate souls would have to abandon their homes and seek refuge in another land. They should be thinking of an international order where the independent states would stand united for the ideals proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the UN Charter.
After nearly seven decades, when the chief of UN refugee agency UNHCR told the world that the number of displaced individuals around the world stood at ‘the highest level’ during past seventy years, and appealed to the world not to close their borders to the refugees, he might be seeing the ideals of 1951 convention evaporate in the air.
The global population of forcibly displaced persons stands at staggering figure of 70.8 million, with an increase of 2.3 million people only during 2018.1 One-third of the global refugee population (6.7 million) are in the least developed countries while countries in the developed regions host merely 16% of refugees.2
For several years, Afghans, Rohingya from Myanmar, Palestinians, and persons from South Sudan and Ethiopia have constituted the largest refugee populations. They have been living mostly in developing countries. Very recently (2012 onwards), when Syrian refugees had to abandon their land and run for their lives, the developed world became their destination. The reaction has been surprising, particularly for those peoples and the nations who have been hosting the distressed people for quite some time with their struggling economies. The prospects in near future too are not in favor of refugees.3 Currently, refugees from Venezuela are the latest unfortunate addition to the global figures of refugees who have hardly found any welcoming hosts.4 Interestingly, most of the countries refusing to allow refugees at their borders are parties to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol. In such scenario, it should not come as a surprise that Russian President Putin has made anti-immigrant policies a point to proclaim death of liberalism.5 General Assembly of United Nations has adopted a new global compact on refugees in October 2018 to ensure the global cooperation and involvement,6 it has also yet to bear fruits.
Among the refugees, every 4 out of 5 individuals live in the countries neighboring their countries of origin.7 This indicates an obvious intention to return as soon as the circumstances would allow them and that primarily it is not an economic motive that has pulled them to their destination countries.
With all this in view, there are serious questions for the humanitarian spirit and collective action for the people in distress. To look for the options, the world needs to share experiences and keep learning from each other. In case of refugees too, there are certain examples, of which Pakistan remains a prominent one. Pakistan has remained host to the largest refugee population till recently when Turkey welcomed the Syrian refugees and took the honor of being the largest refugee hosting nation. Pakistan is now the second largest host to refugee population8.
AFGHANS IN PAKISTAN – A PROTRACTED REFUGEE SITUATION
The Background and Quick Facts: Pakistan and Afghanistan always had a soft border and crossing over from one side to the other had been easily possible throughout its 1,500 miles. Very recently, Pakistan has erected a fence on its side of the border, first to prevent entry of terrorists and illegal immigrants and second to allay the oft-repeated allegations that insurgents in Afghanistan have their hideouts in Pakistan.
Map: Pakistan – Afghanistan border
Afghans had begun arriving in Pakistan to seek refuge in 197410 and there were around 1,400 Afghan refugees in Pakistan in 1975.11 The next wave of political dissidents came in 1978 when Daoud government was toppled over in Afghanistan.12 Afghans had begun fleeing their lands en masses lightly before the invasion of neighboring super power USSR in 1979. By June 1979, the number of Afghans in Pakistan had reached 109,000.13 The flight continued and in 1990, the number of Afghan refugees in Pakistan had reached 3.7 million,14 which was more than 3% of Pakistan’s total population at the time.15
The preference of Afghans for Pakistan as their country of destination had obvious reasons. Apart from being the immediate neighbor, there have been historical, tribal and social linkages between the two people. The sense of belonging to the same religion that promotes the spirit of hosting the distressed by way of amān (giving shelter) had its own assurances.16
Soviet Union pulled out of Afghanistan in 1989 but its supported communist government lasted till Mujahideen captured Kabul in 1992. At that point, over 1.5 million Afghan refugees returned to their homeland.17 Nevertheless, the infighting among various Mujahideen factions (1992-96) halted the repatriation, rather a new wave of refugees, mainly originating from Kabul, started. New hopes emerged when Taliban swept through Afghanistan and took charge of Kabul in September 1996, and repatriation started again – though at a slower pace.18
When US forces started bombing Afghanistan in October 2001, approximately 200,000 new refugees arrived in Pakistan.19 Repatriation resumed after US – NATO alliance took hold of Kabul. Nevertheless, growing lawlessness, spreading insurgency, poor governance, corruption, continued uncertainty, and lack of economic opportunities, prevented many from returning, rather pushed back some of those who had returned.20 Following two graphs depict the overall picture of Afghan refugee population in Pakistan and their repatriation since 2002.
Formal repatriation had started in 2002. UNHCR has facilitated the return of 4,375,871 Afghans back to their country from Pakistan22 though a good number of them did not stay there and has returned to Pakistan. The facilitation includes cash payment, and relief package along with transport and logistics arrangements. Some Afghans have received cash and relief packages more than once and UNHCR has been trying to control the practice (recycling, as UNHCR names it) through the use of iris biometric recognition.23 Pakistan is currently hosting 1.4 million Afghan refugees with 210,465 households.24 Pakistan estimates that there are between 350,000 to 550,000 undocumented Afghans in Pakistan.25 Some estimates put the figure of undocumented Afghans in Pakistan close to one million.26
Table: Voluntary Repatriation Trend of Afghan Refugees from Pakistan
S ource: UNHCR27
The Political Backgrounder: Before we look into the response of the people and the Government of Pakistan to the influx, a brief look into the prior relations between the two countries would be helpful to keep in view the environment where Pakistan started welcoming this large number of refugees.
The bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have not remained smooth and there have been ups and downs throughout the existence of Pakistan. When Pakistan was established in 1947, Afghanistan had resisted its membership in the United Nations and there have been overt attempts to annex the Pakhtoon areas of Pakistan or to create a Pakhtoonistan out of the North Western Frontier Province (later named Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2010) and parts of Balochistan.28 The attempts to create disruption and sabotage in Pakistan through training Pakhtoon and Baloch youth witnessed the involvement at the highest levels in Afghanistan even till mid-1970s.29 Afghanistan has always refused to accept the Durand Line between the two countries as the international border.30 Afghan troops entered Pakistan across the poorly demarcated Durand Line in 1960 but were defeated by the tribesmen of Bajaur.31 In 1964, Afghan Loya Jirga (the grand assembly) passed a formal resolution for creation of Pakhtoonistan.32
Such irritants and even blatant acts of hostility, did not, however, deter the people and the state of Pakistan from allowing Afghan refugees into their borders. People of Pakistan have always cherished the moment when Afghanistan kept neutral during Pakistan – India war of 1965, and did not pose a danger at the Western borders for Pakistan.33
The first response: Giving protection (amān) to the distressed and displaced is among the core of Islamic civic code.34 The Refugees arriving in Pakistan met the same spirit in the host community. Guests were given traditional welcome and were accommo-dated in every way possible. Very soon, the state had to get involved. Along 1,500 mile Pakistan – Afghanistan border, 240 tent villages were erected from Chitral in the North to Chaghi in the South.35 Cash maintenance allowance, food ration, shelter, potable water, medical care, primary education, for refugees as well as veterinary cover, fodder and water was provided for over 3 million heads of livestock.36 Very soon, vocational training and self-reliance projects were initiated. Till December 1979, Pakistan took care of refugees on its own,37 but later the UN agencies, voluntary organizations and friendly countries joined in.
Policy: Pakistan is not party to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees or to the 1967 Protocol. It does not have an impressive infrastructure or economy either. There have, however, been no signs of a hesitation in accepting the large number of refugees. For years, Pakistan abided by the fundamental principles of the international refugee law – non-discrimination, non-penalization, and non-refoulement.
The principle of non-refoulement, (that a refugee shall not be expelled or returned against his will, in any manner whatsoever, to a territory where he fears threats to life or freedom) is so fundamental that no reservation or derogation may be made to it. The principle was recognized to constitute part of the customary international law much later than Pakistan’s consistent observance of it.38
Practically, Pakistan has offered much more than the minimum standards for the treatment of refugees envisaged in the international legal regime and has offered health, education,39 work opportunities, family life, access to justice, and freedom of movement,40 to the extent that they are comparable with the rights available to the citizens on many counts.
Security, law and order: Presence of a huge number of aliens in the country is sure to create certain problems. During the decade of 1980s, the crime rate in the country increased, the Afghani opium became a big hazard41 as a big number of youth got addicted to drugs smuggled from Afghanistan,42 smuggling of goods became a challenge for Pakistan’s economy, a whole new phenomenon referred to as ‘Kalashnikov culture’ emerged, and bomb blasts did not remain something unfamiliar for the people of Pakistan. Despite the increasing cases of lawlessness, job market having shrunk for local population, housing and other civic facilities having been shared, and the arrival of foreigners with different social traits within the closely-knit community of Pakistan, there have not been a public backlash, large-scale hatred, or administrative push out, which in itself is a unique characteristic of this episode.43 Afghan refugees continued living a near normal life in camps and in various urban and semi-urban areas of the country.44 Without education or skills, they could be seen working as laborers in different trades, mainly on daily wages.
In 1990s, the factional fighting in Afghanistan continued. After withdrawal of the most international players Pakistan was able to bring law and order in control to a large extent, though the effects remained. Completion of political motives of foreign players also meant abandonment of Afghan refugees to their hosts i.e. Pakistan. International support soon vanished and Pakistan has been receiving merely $5.20 per registered refugee per year as international aid to provide for their healthcare and education.45
Documentation and Repatriation – Post 2000 scenario: In the year 2000, situation in Afghanistan had settled to the extent that Pakistan started indicating to the refugees that they should consider repatriation and simultaneously prevented further refugee inflows from Afghanistan.46 Things turned against all plans and in the wake of 9/11 attacks a new wave of refugees had to be accepted immediately after US attacks on Afghanistan in October 2001.
Early years of the 2000s was a time when Pakistan had started digitizing its national identity documents through newly established National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). Though, national identity documents were being issued to the people of Pakistan since mid-1970s, but advancement was being brought and manual system was being replaced with the state of the art database. It was also a major target to register each and every Pakistani for the national database and a large and aggressive campaign was launched. Many Afghans had already obtained the national identity cards of Pakistan by misrepresenting themselves as native Pakistanis of the Pakhtoon areas, and many others got themselves registered during the new campaign. This had created numerous problems as the new entrants in the national database had started purchasing lands, owning businesses in their own names, joining government services and even voting in elections. In most cases, the persons so registered were members of the second generation of Afghan refugees who were born and raised in Pakistan. In a judgment of Peshawar High Court in the year 2000, it was, however, clarified that an alien did not receive the right to citizenship merely on the basis of prolonged stay and was, therefore, not entitled to identity as a Pakistani citizen or to own property in Pakistan.47 Consequently, NADRA launched a nation-wide verification campaign from 2005 onwards through which all spurious identities were removed from national database. This had obvious implications for certain Afghans as well.
When US and allied forces took hold of situation in Afghanistan, refugee repatriation program was worked out with UNHCR for the years 2002-2005 and Afghan Government was taken onboard for dignified return of all refugees to their lands. Consequently, over 3.5 million refugees returned to Afghanistan during these years.48
As the stay of refugees prolonged in Pakistan, many of them had not remained confined to camps, and spread to various parts of the country. Though the refugees in refugee camps were already registered or recorded, there was a need to ensure regis-tration of all refugee individuals in the country. This was necessary for effective repatriation as well. Pakistan Census Organization carried out a detailed census of all refugees in all parts of the country during February and March 2005. The statistics were far beyond the estimates held till now and it turned out that 548,105 families of Afghan refugees constituting 3,049,268 individuals were present in the country.49 This was despite the repatriation already taking place. The explanation to such big difference was the 3.5 per cent birth rate among refugees, return of some of those who had ‘repatriated’ through official arrangements, and the previous figures being based on estimates. Registered Afghans were issued cards as Proof of Registration, which are referred as PoR cards.
In August 2007, Tripartite Agreement was signed between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the UNHCR to govern voluntary repatriation of Afghans.50 This Agreement was effective till the end of 2009. Repatriation after 2009 continued on a slower pace, as indicated in the table above, on the principles of volunteerism and gradualism.
Pakistan faced a dilemma when despite its support for the US – NATO campaign against al-Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan, it was alleged by the US and Afghan Governments for having provided safe heavens to insurgents in its territories. To clean its area of any terrorists, Pakistan launched a series of military operations and initiatives in areas adjoining Afghanistan from 2001 to 2013.51 In the same continuity, December 16, 2014 was a turning point in the history of Pakistan when terrorists attacked Army Public School in Peshawar and killed 144 students and the school staff. This was the time when a final blow to militancy in all its forms was agreed upon and a National Action Plan (NAP) was devised with the consensus of all significant political parties of the country. Along with several other steps to ensure peace and to eradicate militancy, NAP also called for ‘comprehensive policy’ to deal with the issue of Afghan refugees.52 Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched by Pakistan military in areas adjoining Afghanistan. Apart from rooting out terrorists, these military operations caused internal displacements in the country and coupled with Afghan refugees, the burden became intense. The need for early repatriation of Afghan refugees was voiced from various segments of the Government and public. Since the connections of school attack were traced into Afghanistan, the harshness in conduct of police and security forces towards Afghans was reported, particularly at check posts and entry points.53 Consequently, the rate of repatriation increased in the following years. The repatriation continues at a slower pace through Solution Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) that has been in place since 2011.54
In February 2017, the Federal Cabinet of Pakistan adopted a Comprehensive Policy on Voluntary Repatriation and Management of Afghan Nationals. The policy aimed at (I) voluntary repatriation of refugees in safety and dignity; (II) extension of the validity of PoR cards and enactment of national refugee legislation; (III) improved border management; (IV) a flexible visa regime for PoR card holders; and (V) registration and documentation of undocumented Afghans.
Between August 2017 and February 2018, the Government of Pakistan identified some 880,000 previously undocumented Afghan nationals and in coordination with UNHCR and Afghan Government helped in providing Afghan Citizenship Card (ACCs) to some 380,000 of them.
Currently, Pakistan has a fewer number of those Afghans who had originally migrated to Pakistan in effect of war and most Afghans belong to the second and third generations, who have lived most parts of their lives in Pakistan and feel more attached here.55 Exit interviews conducted from repatriating Afghans during March-May 2019, indicate that those Afghans are more likely to return, who already have some of their family members in Afghanistan. On the other hand, a large number of Afghans do not wish to go back as have developed strong financial and family connections in Pakistan over past four decades. While Pakistan wants most Afghans to get settled in their own country, there is increasing realization that repatriation of all Afghans might not be a possibility. Recently, Pakistan has given indications that it is considering long-term options for assimilation of Afghans in Pakistan. In this connection, they have recently been allowed to open bank accounts in their own names,56 and a proposal for giving citizenship was also floated that met with mixed reactions.57
Following points emerge from the above discussion and may serve as lessons to learn:
The huge number and prolonged stay of refugees is sure to have implications for any host society particularly for its economy and job market. Pakistan has been trying to adjust itself in the volatile regional situation and has been taking measures within its limited resources and relatively weak physical infrastructure but it has done fairly good in abiding by the fundamental principles of the international refugee law. It has undergone severe problems but has not shied away from lending a helping hand to the distressed people of Afghanistan. There have definitely been problems arising out of weak governance structure and lack of accountability within the public services, yet the state policy has been consistent in favor of Afghan refugees.
At societal level, there have been occasional voices against the prolonged presence of Afghans but the overall public opinion has not been against them. There are sufficient reasons to suspect that some of the dissenting voices are planned and backed for certain political gains in the domestic and regional politics.58
The immigrants are not merely a burden. The immigrant work force may be turned into asset with some efforts. The approach for sustainable development of refugees’ capabilities not only helps them in repatriation but also works in case of insufficient and/or intermittent international cooperation as has been the case with Pakistan. Many Afghans are now living on their own, and their new generations are increasingly getting higher education and entering trade and business.
Most displacements today are caused by human actions but humanitarian issues are not dealt with humanitarian approach. Rather, it is the vested political and economic motive that dictates the choices of the States in dealing with refugees at home, accepting some of the refugees from another under-pressure country for relocation or even supporting the host countries through funding. Former chief of UN High Commission for Human Rights Sadako Ogata was bitterly correct when he had once deplored that there are no humanitarian solutions to huma-nitarian problems.59
The successive international efforts to promote refugee rights for nearly seven decades and the current situation of refugees throughout the world is evident that no agreement, convention or guarantee is sufficient to ensure human rights, unless the society generally subscribes to a humane paradigm of life. It is unfortunate that economic benefits have generally been driving popular narratives and immigrants have generally faced cold shoulders. A more humanitarian society may sustain the burden despite difficulties and drying down of international support.
The distressed people anywhere in the world need to be welcomed, accommodated and assisted in living dignified lives. Over the years, love and affection as well as financial and other stakes might develop in the country of destination, and finally some immigrants may have to be adjusted and admitted. However, the singular most significant factor contributing to the failure of UNHCR efforts to repatriate Afghan refugees relates to the conditions in the country of origin, which would finally determine the fate of refugees. No amount of incentives and efforts would otherwise work completely, unless the conditions in the country of origin support the option for repatriation.
The four key components of the recently agreed global compact i.e. easing the pressure on host countries, enhancing self-reliance in refugees, expanding access to third country solutions, and supporting the efforts to promote conditions for safe and dignified return in the country of origin,60 provide the full framework of things to do. But it will work only when the humans prefer to think more humanely.
In a world fighting for resources and power, displacements and sufferings cannot be mitigated forever. Nevertheless, international community needs to work together to subscribe once again to the ideals of UN charter and humanitarian conventions stemming out of its spirit to ensure peace and tranquility around the world.
Research Officer, Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad. Author acknowledges assistance of Sami-ur-Rahman (Behria University, Islamabad) and Sardar Ali Yousafzai (Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad)
1 UNHCR, Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2018, https://www.unhcr.org/5d08d7ee7.pdf
3 Przemysław Osiewicz, “EU policies may worsen migration crisis in 2019”, Middle East Institute, October 11, 2018, https://www.mei.edu/publications/eu-policies-may-worsen-migration-crisis-2019-0
4 UNHCR, “Record Displacement shows ’we`re almost unable to make peace’ warns UN refugee agency chief”, https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/06/1040761
5 Lionel Barber and Henry Foy, “Vladimir Putin says liberalism has ‘become obsolete’”, Financial Times, https://www.ft.com/content/670039ec-98f3-11e9-9573-ee5cbb98ed36
6 UNGA, Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Part II, Global Compact on Refugees, https://www.unhcr.org/gcr/GCR_English.pdf
7 UNHCR, Global Trends, https://www.unhcr.org/5d08d7ee7.pdf
8 UNHCR, “Solution Strategy for Afghan Refugees, 2018-2019”, Geneva: UNHCR, October 2018, 6 https://www.baag.org.uk/sites/www.baag.org.uk/files/resources/attachments/UNHCR%20-%20Solutions%20Strategy%20for%20Afghan%20Refugees%202018%20-%202019.pdf
9 BBC, https://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/55821000/gif/_55821958_afghan_pakistan_v4_624.gif
10 Khalid Rahman and Fakiha Mahmood, International Refugee Law, Islamic Shariah and Afghan Refugees in Pakistan, Islamabad: Institute of Policy Studies, 2010, 59
11 Chief Commissioner for Afghan Refugees, “Handbook on Management of Afghan Refugees in Pakistan”, Islamabad: State and Frontier Regions Division, 1984, iii
12 Khalid Rahman Khalid and Fakiha Mahmood, 59
13 Frédéric Grare and William Maley, “The Afghan Refugees in Pakistan”, Middle East Institute, June 30, 2011, 2 http://www.operationspaix.net/DATA/DOCUMENT/4042~v~The_Afghan_Refugees_in_Pakistan.pdf
14 SAFRON, “Official Policy of the Government of Pakistan”, Ministry of State and Frontier Regions, Government of Pakistan, http://safron.gov.pk/frmDetails.aspx
16 Khalid Rahman and Fakiha Mahmood, 25-42
17 Ghufran, Nasreen, “Afghans in Pakistan: A Protracted Refugee Situation’”, Policy Perspectives, vol. 5, No. 2, 121
18 Khalid Rahman and Irfan Shahzad, Afghans in Pakistan: Plight, Predicament and the Way Forward, Islamabad: Institute of Policy Studies, 2009, 21
19 SAFRON, http://safron.gov.pk/frmDetails.aspx
20 Khalid Rahman and Irfan Shahzad, 21
21 The table depicts number of registered Afghans only. UNHCR, Operational Portal: Refugee Status, https:// data2.unhcr.org/en/country/pak
22 UNHCR, Pakistan: Voluntary Repatriation of Afghans from Pakistan Update 31st of May, 2019 https://relief web.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/69986.pdf
23 VOA, “UN Uses Technology to Prevent Refugee Fraud in Afghanistan”, Voice of America, https://www.voa news.com/archive/un-uses-technology-prevent-refugee-fraud-afghanistan-2003-08-17
24 UNHCR, “Afghan Refugees and Statistics”, https://data2.unhcr.org/en/country/pak
25 UNHCR, Solution Strategy, 2018-19, October 2018, 6 https://www.baag.org.uk/sites/www.baag.org.uk/files/ resources/attachments/UNHCR%20-%20Solutions%20Strategy%20for%20Afghan%20Refugees%202018%20-%202019.pdf
26 Asad Hashim, “Deadline looms for Afghan refugees in Pakistan”, Al-Jazeera, January 31, 2018, https://www. aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/deadline-looms-afghan-refugees-pakistan-180131072420673.html
27 UNHCR, “Pakistan: Voluntary Repatriation of Afghans from Pakistan Update 31st of May, 2019” https://relief web.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/69986.pdf
28 Syed Abdul Quddus, Afghanistan and Pakistan: A Geopolitical Study, Lahore: Ferozsons, 1981, 136-179
30 Ahmed Shayeq Qassem, “Pak-Afghan Relations: The Durand Line Issue”, Policy Perspectives, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2008, 87-102
31 Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Tara Vassefi, “The Forgotten History of Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations”, Yale Journal of International Affairs, March 2012, 42. http://yalejournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Article-Gartenstein _Ross-and-Vassefi.pdf
32 Juma Khan, “Overview of Pak-Afghan Relations”, Pakistan House, November 6, 2018. http://pakistanhouse. net/overview-of-pak-afghan-relations/
33 Mohib Ullah Durani and Ashraf Khan, “Pakistan – Afghan Relations: Historic Mirror”, The Dialogue, Volume IV Number 1, 35. http://www.qurtuba.edu.pk/thedialogue/The%20Dialogue/4_1/02_ashraf.pdf
34 The Holy Qur’an acknowledges the host communities saying, “They love those who emigrated to them and find not any desire in their hearts of what the emigrants were given, but rather give them preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. Whoever is protected from the greediness of his own soul, then those will be successful.” Chapter 59, verse 9
35 Handbook on Afghan Refugees, iii
37 Ibid., 9
38 UNHCR, “Advisory Opinion on the Extraterritorial Application of Non-refoulement Obligations under the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol”, January 26, 2007, www.unhcr.org/4d486929.pdf
39 UNHCR, “Education and Future of Afghan Refugees”, September 2015
40 DRC, Socio-Economic Survey of Afghan Refugees Living in Pakistan, Danish Refugee Council, May 2013
41 Tehseen Usman and Minhas Majeed Khan, “Drug Trafficking from Afghanistan to Pakistan and its Implications”, Journal of Research Society of Pakistan, vol. 50, No. 2, December 2013, http://pu.edu.pk/images /journal/history/PDF-FILES/ARTICLE%202%20TEHSIN%2025-43_v50_no2_2013.pdf
42 Bushra Hamid, “Endangered Livelihoods: Questions of Opium and Integration for the Afghan Economy”, Policy Perspectives, vol. 5, No. 2, 2008, 103-115
43 Lal Baha, “Afghan Refugees: Socio-Economic Implications”, Islamic Studies, vol. 25, No. 2, Summer 1986, 161-179
44 Currently, 68 per cent Afghans live in urban or rural areas, while the remaining 32 per cent reside in 54 refugee villages across the country. UNHCR, Solution Strategy, 6 https://www.baag.org.uk/sites/www.baag. org.uk/files/resources/attachments/UNHCR%20-%20Solutions%20Strategy%20for%20Afghan%20Refugees%202018%20-%202019.pdf
45 AFP, “Pakistan calls for aid for its millions of Afghan refugees”, The Express Tribune, June 29, 2019, https://t ribune.com.pk/story/1128659/pakistan-calls-aid-millions-afghan-refugees/
46 Nancy Hatch Dupree, “The Family During Crisis in Afghanistan”, Journal of Comparative Family Studies, Vol. 35, No. 2, Spring 2004, 311-331; Nasreen Ghufran, “Afghans in Pakistan: A Protracted Refugee Situation’ Policy Perspectives, vol. 5, No. 2, 121
47 Ghulam Sanai vs Assistant Director NADRA and others, PLD 1999 Peshawar 18
48 Nasreen Ghufran, “Afghans in Pakistan: A Protracted Refugee Situation’ Policy Perspectives, vol. 5, No. 2, 121
49 UNHCR, Census of Afghans in Pakistan, March 2005, https://www.unhcr.org/431c7b1a2.pdf
50 UNHCR, “Agreement between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Governing the Repatriation of Afghan Citizens Living in Pakistan”. https://www.unhcr.org/46c98acd2.pdf
51 Iram Khalid and Muhammad Iqbal Roy, “Pakistan’s Military Operations: The Counter Terrorism Strategy (2001-2013) – Prospects and Implications”, Journal of Research Society of Pakistan, vol. 53, No. 2, July-December, 2016, http://pu.edu.pk/images/journal/history/PDF-FILES/17-Paper_53_2_16.pdf
52 “National Action Plan, 2014”, NACTA, https://nacta.gov.pk/nap-2014/
53 Such harsh treatment is not specific to Afghans only. There have always been complaints about the conduct of law and order agencies in Pakistan and the situation in this regard is no different for locals also.
54 UNHCR, Solution Strategy, 2018-19, 6 https://www.baag.org.uk/sites/www.baag.org.uk/files/resources/attachments /UNHCR%20-%20Solutions%20Strategy%20for%20Afghan%20Refugees%202018%20-%202019.pdf
55 UNHCR, Pakistan: Voluntary Repatriation of Afghans from Pakistan Update – as 31st May of 2019, https://relief web.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/69986.pdf
56 APP, “Registered Afghan refugees can open bank accounts: Imran Khan”, Khaleej Times, February 26, 2019 https://www.khaleejtimes.com/international/pakistan/pakistan-pm-imran-khan-makes-historic-announcement-
57 “Pakistan’s Imran Khan skirts issue of Afghan refugees’ citizenship”, The Guardian, September 18, 2018, https:// www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/18/pakistan-imran-khan-afghan-begali-refugees-citizenship-passports
58 One such instance was witnessed quite recently when #DeportAfghanRefugees made a local trend in Pakistan immediately after a cordial visit of Afghan President to Pakistan on 27-28 June 2019.
59 Debarre, Alice, “The Challenges of the Humanitarian Response to the Rohingya Crisis”, The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, January 29, 2019 http://www.fletcherforum.org/home/2019/1/16/the-challenges-of-the-humanitarian-response-to-the-rohingya-crisis
60 UNHCR, Global Compact on Refugees, https://www.unhcr.org/the-global-compact-on-refugees.html