WITH REFRENCE TO THE AFGHAN REFUGEES IN PAKISTAN
WHAT IS A REFUGEE?2
THE AFGHAN REFUGEES IN PAKISTAN.2
IMPACT ON THE ECONOMY.3
WHAT IS A REFUGEE?
According to the 1951 Refugee Convention the United Nations defines a refugee as “someone who has fled his country of origin due to well founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality or being from a certain ethnic group or even for holding a certain opinion”. Often the difference between a migrant and a refugee is confused but a migrant is the one who has left its country to improve its economic prospects while as a refugee has fled its country in order to protect its life. In order to protect the refugees in the country of asylum the article 33(1) of the convention states that the states are not to send the refugees back to areas where their life and prospects are threatened. But the refugees are not a permanent phenomena as they are required to go back to their own country while the situation there improves. THE AFGHAN REFUGEES IN PAKISTAN.
For the past 30 years ,Pakistan’s next door neighbor has had been in constant trouble , In William B Woods article “Long Time Coming: The Repatriation of Afghan Refugees” the factors causing flight from ones home country were all present in Afghanistan from anti-colonial wars, wars on independence and self determination movements ,international conflicts ,revolutions, change of government ,ethnic and tribal conflicts ,partition of states and population transfers and expulsion”. Since the state has been in turmoil for a very long time, Pakistan its next door neighbor has had acted as a favorable option for Afghans to fled into .As the border shared between the two countries is situated in one of the world’s most dangerous terrain, whose monitoring by a poor state like Pakistan is almost impossible, making mobility between it very easy. Apart from that there are ethnic Pashtoons residing on both sides on the border where the “Pashtoon Wali” code of conduct prevails here hospitality and brotherhood is a way of life .So the people of this area welcomed their brothers with open arms, accommodating them in their homes, their occupations and in almost every aspect of life. The excessive aid arriving by the donor state states made their stay even more comfortable. But the Donor States were soon stuck by “donor fatigue” leaving the responsibility to cater for these people on Pakistan’s crumbling shoulders. Reparations i.e. the sending back of refugees to their home countries when the situation normalizes was considered a favorable option by Pakistan. Since the year 2002 the UNHCR has been helping Pakistan on a “Voluntarily Repatriation Program me “through which almost 3.4 million refugees have been sent home while 1.8 million still reside here. When the humanitarian agencies studied the pattern of this repartitions they found that in most of the circumstances the repartition was not voluntarily and often force was used by law enforcement agencies as they eradicated their houses and locked their business ,most of the refugees on their way back showed resignation to their fate. The human right agencies condemned these acts but here what we need to see is this that is Pakistani government justified in this forceful repartition and what were the reasons which led them into acting this way?
Robert Chambers in his article “Hidden Losers? The Impact of Rural Refugees and Refugee Programs on Poorer Hosts” states that refugee relief organizations and refugee studies main focus have had always been refugees ,with hosts either not considered or treated as secondary or incidental. But here we would see the impact which these refugees had on Pakistani...