Pakistan gives Afghan refugees a reprieve: they can stay until December 2015

Afghan women wait to register with the UNHCR in Peshawar in June 2012. Candidates for resettlement to a third country?

As the US begins its draw-down in Afghanistan, fewer of the nearly 2 million Afghans who slipped into Pakistan are willing to go back to Afghanistan.

But then what?   Surely we won’t take more to the US?  Right?

[BTW, check out Daniel Greenfield on “Know your military colonists” which so many of our readers have sent to our attention, here. Afghans figure prominently!]

From Press TV:

These are Afghan refugees living in the slums at the outskirts of Islamabad. The government sees many among them with growing suspicion of links with criminal and terrorist activities. Nonetheless, months before the deadline to expel Afghan refugees, Islamabad in a generous gesture of hospitality decided to allow them to extend their stay till December 2015.

The bigger challenge for regional countries is on how to repatriate Afghan refugees voluntarily. These are official representatives from Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan. They are currently engaged to adopt a strategy to support the voluntary return of Afghan refugees and ensure their sustainable reintegration in Afghanistan.

Afghan refugees are running their own businesses and have mingled up in Pakistani society primarily because of sharing ideological and ethnic background across Pak-Afghan border. Therefore, not every one among them is willing to return their homeland.

The UNHCR says the number of Afghan refugees who is willing to return to their homes has decreased 40 percent -partially because of increasing Taliban insurgency. With the U-S-led foreign forces gradually withdrawing, the fear looms large among refugees of more chaotic conditions in coming years as the Taliban are expanding their grip over Afghanistan.

So tell me again, why we expended so much blood and treasure in Afghanistan?  (Or Iraq, or Libya for that matter).

Photo is from this story at Radio Free Europe.

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