Reigniting War is igniting shelters of the unfortunate

15th July 2021.

NATO troops are being withdrawn from Afghanistan and the danger of igniting a civil war lingers on, which again might lead to numerous people being shelterless, leaving their dwellings, risking their lives, and moving towards more misery and vulnerability. The interior Federal minister has clearly stated and is adamant that Pakistan will not host any refugees but if the conditions get adverse the refugees will be detained in camps alongside the border under strict security checks and invigilation.

Pakistan is still pondering upon the decision on whether to take refugees in or not, due to the indecisiveness Pakistan turns to international law to decide the fate of the refugees on the grounds of the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol with around 150 signatories. Pakistan is not a signatory to any of these. The 1951 convention, article 33(1) clearly underlines non-refoulement of any refugee as every human deserves to live and escape the persecution of any form


Afghan refugees have a strong case supported by IHRL and IHL that restricts Pakistan from forcible Afghani expulsions. The political reason to hesitate from Afghani immigration is also the 9/11 incident and the after-effects Pakistan had to withstand in terms of image, links, and relations with the international communities. The clear evidence is the shigri report that exhibited Afghanis as a social and economic threat. On the contrary, the incarceration rate of the Afghanis was lower than that of Pakistanis; furthermore, they proved to be of imperative use by contributing to the informal labor sector and boosting Pakistan’s economy.

Pakistan faced major setbacks in PCMEA when skillful Afghan workers were repatriated. In addition to that, confining refugees to camps would be inhumane with a lack of vital facilities, inadequate sanitation, and food supplies. Security-based solutions always lead to unrequired torture for the people who have already been unfortunate enough. Hence it is important for the UN and Pakistan to make joint attempts to rescue these people in the best way possible and to provide them with the hospitality they deserve

Please contact the Legal Research Institute of Pakistan for further assistance.

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