Pakistan’s hospitality to host 1.4m Afghan refugees unparalleled

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Despite its economic and social pressures, Pakistan has been hosting over 1.4 million Afghan refugees and 850,000 Afghan Citizen Card holders for four decades while adhering to the highest standards of protection, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Owing to the unparalleled hospitality by Pakistan, the refugees as well as Afghan Citizen Card holders enjoy free enrollment in government primary schools and access to higher education with generous scholarships, along with bank accounts and numerous livelihood opportunities.

However, regardless of all-out humanitarian measures by Pakistan, the Afghan and Indian media as well as the disgruntled elements continue to malign Pakistan through baseless propaganda, exploiting any situation. Recently, the Afghan media tried to create a misconception about Pakistan vis-à-vis the arrest of some Afghan refugees in Sindh province.

According to official sources, the Afghan citizens who travelled to Sindh were arrested by the Sindh Police for not having legal residence documents. “Which country of the world will tolerate illegal immigrants who travel anywhere in the host country without legal documents? Will Afghanistan itself or India or for that matter any other country accepts such irregularities in their own countries,” a security analyst questioned.

The analyst said that the Indian media taking advantage of the detention of a few Afghan refugees in Sindh and creating misconceptions should be mindful of India’s treatment of Afghan refugees. He said that out of 21000 Afghans living in India, about 11000 are registered as asylum-seekers but not officially recognized as refugees.

Afghans residing in India even for the last 15 years are suffering from socio-economic ordeals as they have no mode of income, education, or health facilities.