Afghan Refugees in Pakistan Disinclined to Return to Afghanistan

October 26, 2021

Despite the formation of the Taliban government in Kabul, Afghan refugees living here have stated that they have no plans to return to their homeland due to the current state of uncertainty.

They said they couldn’t leave Pakistan until peace was restored in war-torn Afghanistan.According to them, the Gohati and Gandaf refugee camps used to house around 60,000 Afghans, but the number increased this year due to the arrival of relatives and other groups, particularly during the Afghan Taliban’s fight against security forces loyal to the previous Ashraf Ghani-led government.

According to the refugees, Islamabad and Kabul had good working relations after the Afghan Taliban took control of Kabul. They applauded the Pakistani government’s recent announcement of Rs5 billion in humanitarian aid for Afghanistan, as well as the easing of visa restrictions for Afghans and an increase in bilateral trade, saying the initiative would help the two countries’ economic and commercial relations.

Despite improvements in security, the refugees say they will not return to their homeland due to a weak economy, a lack of jobs, food insecurity, and other issues.

“We consider Pakistan to be our second home because we and Pakistanis share the same culture, lifestyle, language, and religion,” Khan Agha, a refugee from Gohati, said. Sardar Khan, a 12th-grade student, said he would be unable to continue his education if he returned to Kunar province.

Two camps’ elders expressed confidence that peace would return to Afghanistan and that the economy would improve, and that once that happened, the refugees would flock there without hesitation.

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