Extension in Afghan refugees stay

Javaid Bashir

The government is complicating the matter of return of Afghan refugees. The Cabinet’s decision to extend their stay for till March 2017 is a deadly blow to the National Action Plan. The federal & provincial governments policies are in conflict with each other. They seem to be poles apart on this issue. This issue is bread & butter for some of the people. Zia ul Haq’s wrong policies have pushed us into dark ages. The return of refugees is crucial to success of operation Zarb-i -Azb. The government has dealt this issue in a non-serious manner so far. Prime Minister Sharif has a soft corner for them. First it was Taliban issue as his government and allies wanted to negotiate with good Taliban and not bad Taliban. Now it is dealing with refugees matter in the same delaying fashion. Down the lane it will grant more extension. We need to become serious otherwise we will lose the benefits of successes of the military operation. I am sure the military leadership is very clear about the return policy. If the government is taking such decision, how can we implement the NAP in letter and in spirit? We have hosted Afghan refugees at least for three decades now and spend resources on their well-being. The hospitality must end now. Some of the political analysts have made it a political circus to sympathise with the refugees to earn good will. The government should not take pressure from International Community & the world body. The international community should do their part to rehabilitate these refugees back home. No more extensions. These kind of decisions are counter productive and create hindrances towards our progress.
—Via email

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