Ex­ten­sion in stay of Afghan refugees

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

Sment HOWING con­tin­ued good­will to­wards Afghan refugees, the gov­ern

has once again ex­tended the stay of Afghan refugees for an­other six months till De­cem­ber 2016 while the UNHCR, in a bid to en­cour­age the refugees to go back home vol­un­tar­ily, has also an­nounced to dou­ble the as­sis­tance pack­age for the refugee fam­i­lies opt­ing to re­turn to their home­land. As far as in­crease in the in­cen­tives is con­cerned, it has nei­ther suc­ceeded in the past nor will achieve de­sired re­sults in the fu­ture as due to un­reg­u­lated bor­der cross­ings, the refugees re­ceive the repa­tri­a­tion ben­e­fits and again re­turn to Pak­istan. This process of re­cy­cling is tak­ing place over the last few years but nei­ther the gov­ern­ment nor the UNHCR has the ex­act fig­ures of the re­cy­clers.

Ac­cord­ing to UNHCR, Pak­istan is host­ing 1.6 mil­lion reg­is­tered and one mil­lion un­reg­is­tered Afghans - a mam­moth pop­u­la­tion that is bear­ing both so­cio eco­nomic as well as se­cu­rity im­pact on the coun­try. It is in this con­text that we have seen in re­cent times grow­ing de­mand in dif­fer­ent cir­cles for the early re­turn of th­ese refugees. In fact, the pa­tience of both Balochis­tan and Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa prov­inces is run­ning thin on the mat­ter. The woes of th­ese Prov­inces are very much un­der­stand­able as pro­longed stay of Afghans has not only over­bur­dened their re­sources and in­fra­struc­ture but also made it dif­fi­cult for them to main­tain the se­cu­rity and law and or­der sit­u­a­tion as there are proven facts that the Afghan na­tion­als are not only in­volved in dif­fer­ent crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties but also their camps are serv­ing as bas­tion for the ter­ror­ists. It is be­cause of brotherly re­la­tions with Afghanistan that de­spite all th­ese con­cerns, the gov­ern­ment ex­tended stay of the refugees but the rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers should not for­get that the Afghans ul­ti­mately will have to go back to their homes, and the sooner the bet­ter will be for the Afghanistan it­self. For this the Afghan gov­ern­ment sup­ported by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity should cre­ate nec­es­sary pull fac­tors es­pe­cially es­tab­lish such a con­ducive peace­ful en­vi­ron­ment so that the refugees vol­un­tar­ily go back and in­te­grate into their so­ci­ety.

THE Euro­pean Union was born out of the idea that the peo­ples of the con­ti­nent were the cream of hu­man­ity, and that if only they were to join to­gether, they would - this time col­lec­tively rather than as in­di­vid­ual coun­tries - once again achieve pri­macy over vast sec­tions of the globe. It was Karl Marx who wrote that a re­peat of his­tory con­verts tragedy into farce, in his “Eigh­teenth Bru­maire of Louis Bonaparte”, and so it has come to pass. The Euro­pean Union has be­come a near-far­ci­cal en­tity, fu­ri­ously work­ing out av­er­ages that would suit all its mem­bers rather than evolv­ing sys­tems where the best would lead and lag­gards would get left be­hind.

In other words, the sys­tem that made the Euro­pean con­ti­nent dom­i­nate the rest of the globe. Among the worst er­rors was the euro, a com­mon cur­rency that was set up on the shaky foun­da­tion of sep­a­rate cen­tral bank­ing sys­tems, and en­tirely dif­fer­ent cost struc­tures and man­age­ment cul­tures within a het­ero­ge­neous “union”. The other er­ror was to re­peat on a larger scale the mis­take made by Hel­mut Kohl, who in a fit of gen­eros­ity, de­creed that the East Ger­man cur­rency would be deemed equal to West Ger­man Deutschmark, which at that point in time was among most sta­ble cur­ren­cies on the planet, while East Ger­man cur­rency was in its fun­da­men­tals de­pre­ci­at­ing at speed.

At its core, the EU is a club based on eth­nic­ity and the myth of a com­mon Euro­pean an­ces­try. Hence the

AFGHANISTAN ap­pears to have lost the voice of rea­son be­cause of its own short­com­ings. Tal­iban con­trol ma­jor­ity of ru­ral Afghanistan, cor­rup­tion, bad gov­er­nance and po­lit­i­cal in­fight­ing has made the Afghan ad­min­is­tra­tive hol­low. Afghan Na­tional Di­rec­torate of Safety (NDS), is badly in­fil­trated by In­dian spy agency RAW. The mi­lieu is ripe for In­dia to ex­ploit the sit­u­a­tion and urge Afghanistan to at­tack Pak­istan tooth and nail and bad mouth it at all plat­forms. Afghan lead­er­ship finds a con­ve­nient scape­goat in Pak­istan to blame it for its own gross in­com­pe­tence.

In a scathing at­tack, Afghan Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the U.N. Mah­moud Saikal has stated that Tal­iban leader Mul­lah Akhtar Man­sour was “tracked” and killed in Pak­istan’s Balochis­tan in an Amer­i­can drone strike. He de­clared that the in­ci­dent “ex­posed” that Man­sour had a Pak­istani pass­port in a fake name that he had used to fly nu­mer­ous times from Pak­istani air­ports. The Afghan diplo­mat ac­cused “el­e­ments within the state struc­ture of Pak­istan” of fa­cil­i­tat­ing most of the ter­ror­ist groups ac­tive in the re­gion and said the coun­try “needs po­lit­i­cal will” and not “nu­clear deals or F-16s” to take ac­tion against ter­ror­ists.

In his state­ment to the pow­er­ful United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil on the de­bate on U.N. As­sis­tance Mis­sion in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Mah­moud Saikal went bal­lis­tic but in his tirade against Pak­istan, he for­get


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