Months ago, Pakistan had decided to expel all Afghan refugees from the country, but the federal cabinet of the country on Saturday granted an interim extension of three months for the stay of registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
In a statement released by the office of Pakistan Prime Minister, thee federal cabinet has decided to extend deadline for the stay of registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan for three months.
It added that the issue would be next dealt by the incoming government following elections scheduled for July 25.The government in Islamabad last year declared that all Afghan refugees must return to their home country, but there have been at least three month extensions of the deadline, which was again due to expire on June 30.
A number of Afghan experts and citizens in interviews with The Kabul Times said that national unity government should determine particular programs for addressing problems of Afghan refugees and paved further facilities for their repatriation as Afghan returnees are facing with increasing challenges and problems in the country.
Mohammad Mudaqiq, an Afghan political expert, by welcoming Pakistan step in connection with extension of the Afghan refugees’ stay in the country said: “Unfortunately Afghanistan government has no particular programs for its citizens in the country and lots of shortcomings in the country have caused that a large number of Afghans in particular youth leave for regional and European countries as unemployment rate has increased in recent years in Afghanistan.”
Akbar Jawad, an Afghan university lecturer, says unfortunately immigration crisis is now in top crises in the world after terrorism. A large number of the people of the third-world countries and a number of war-torn countries as Afghanistan and Syria are living as refugees in various parts of the world.
He considered increasing poverty, unemployment and insecurities in Afghanistan as key causes and made our people to take refuge in other countries of the world, asking the government and international community to take necessary steps for dignified repatriation of Afghan refugees from neighboring countries as Pakistan and Iran and provide better facilities for them inside of the country.
Meanwhile, a number of Afghan citizens say national unity government should have particular policy for addressing problems and challenges facing Afghan returnees in the country as a large number of those who have repatriated during the past three years to their country have not been provided better life conditions.
“We returned our home country two months ago, but unfortunately Afghanistan government has paid no attention to my family so farexcept UNHCR that helped us in border area,” said Ali Raza, one of Afghan refugees who has returned his homeland.
He hoped that the government would soon provide those families who have returned home during the past three years with better life and education opportunities in the country.
It is worth mentioning that three decades of continued war in the country have forced Afghan families to leave their country for neighboring and western countries and lived as refugees. Although a large number of Afghans have returned home, but there are nearly five million Afghans who are still living as refugees in foreign countries.