Afghan refugees: So why can’t the Muslim countries keep them?

These Afghan women are at a UN registration center in Pakistan on their way back to Afghanistan. If repatriation continues to fail, they could be on their way to your home town! They would blend right in wouldn’t they! Photo AFP

Here is an overly long article in IRIN (a UN publication) about the growing “crisis” of what to do with millions of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan and Iran (many for decades) where Pakistan and Iran don’t want them.  The UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) is trying to figure out what to do with them.  So far, repatriation to the hell-hole that is Afghanistan isn’t going so well.

Below are the opening paragraphs.  I searched for any mention of those dreaded words—third country resettlement—and didn’t see them (this time!).   I did see that whatever happens, it’s going to cost us (the US and other Western countries) a lot of money for what the UN claims is the world’s most protracted refugee problem.   (I wondered, aren’t the so-called Palestinian “refugees” the most protracted problem?)

UN says Islam is the basis for “international refugee law.”  Therefore, Islam is welcoming, right?

Only a few years ago the UNHCR pronounced that the Islamic faith was the historical root of  our modern-day refugee protection programs.  In case you think I’m making that up, this is precisely what was reported in 2009, here.

New York, 23 June (AKI) – The 1,400-year-old Islamic custom of welcoming people fleeing persecution has had more influence on modern international refugee law than any other traditional source, according to a new study sponsored by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

High Commissioner Antonio Guterres said that more than any other historical source, Islamic law and tradition underpin the modern-day legal framework on which UNHCR bases its global activities on behalf of the tens of millions of people forced from their homes around the world.

So HC Guterres, just remind the Muslim governments of Pakistan and Iran of your report and ask why don’t they just keep them and love them?

That will never happen, instead the whole world is expected to give generously to build them villages back in the HOME country.

From IRIN:

DUBAI, 3 May 2012 (IRIN) – As a meeting of representatives of the Afghan, Iranian and Pakistani governments and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) opened to discuss a new strategy for dealing with the most protracted refugee crisis in the world, NGOs working in Afghanistan raised a number of questions about the new approach.

The so-called Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees, to support Voluntary Repatriation, Sustainable Reintegration ad Assistance to Host Countries is an agreement between the three governments on a way forward for the 2.7 million Afghans registered as refugees in Iran and Pakistan; the estimated 2.4-3.4 million unregistered Afghans living in the two countries; and the nearly 6 million Afghans – one quarter of its population – who have returned from exile to very difficult circumstances. (See IRIN’s recent In-Depth look at the realities on the ground).

The two-day meeting in Geneva, which started on 2 May, invited international stakeholders – donors, diplomats, international organizations, aid agencies and others – to endorse the new approach, at a cost of nearly US$2 billion, which seeks to improve conditions in communities of origin in Afghanistan to encourage returns while supporting communities which host Afghan refugees in Iran and Pakistan, and providing Afghans in exile with skills training to help them upon their return to Afghanistan.

Read it all, if you’ve got the time.

You can bet there isn’t going to be a lot of Saudi money in this project when it can be wrung out of the US Treasury instead. Nor will any Muslim country (including Saudi Arabia) “welcome the stranger.”

Everyone needs to be watchful for the day when they all throw up their hands and say the only solution is for the US to wholesale scoop up a hundred thousand or so and bring them to the US using the same argument being used regarding Iraqi refugees—-we broke it, we fix it.

Oops!  A California Congresswoman has already suggested we start with resettling any Afghan woman who wishes to come to America.

The photo is from this article about how Pakistan extended the deadline for the Afghans to get out.

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