Ungrateful attitude

Presiding over the General Body meeting of Red Crescent Society for the Tribal Districts, Governor Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Shah Farman deplored the attitude  of international community for not acknowledging the meritorious services of Pakistan for providing shelter, relief and succor to millions of Afghan Refugees who have been staying in the country for the past 40 years. He said that on the contrary our role of host is being viewed with skepticism notwithstanding the fact that war in Afghanistan has inflicted colossal losses to the economy and badly affected social fabric of the country.

After the Geneva Accord for the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, the United States and its Western Allies did not fulfill their responsibility to bring political stability by facilitating UN efforts for achieving a broad-based political settlement among the Afghan groups. Afghanistan was left at the mercy of warlords to become a sanctuary for the militant outfits. After the incident of 9/11, the induction of NATO troops, Pakistan has lost 70,000 plus lives in addition to $100 billion losses to the economy in the US led war on global terrorism.

Pakistan is hosting the largest number of Afghan refugees and international community has stopped the humanitarian assistance for the past three decades. But they are not categorized as war refugees by successive governments like other countries. There is no repatriation plan in place for their return when peace and stability will, hopefully, return after the peace deal between the US and the Taliban and subsequent political settlement among all Afghan groups. A senior official of the Ministry of SAFRON had hinted on the formulation of refugees’ repatriation plan two year ago. But perhaps it has been shelved and it is no longer priority of the present government as well. Mere complaining against the ungrateful attitude of international community will not change the ground reality. Its assistance can be sought in future when seriousness is shown about the repatriation of Afghan Refugees.