Imagine that you have been living somewhere for years. You may have spent the most precious years of your life living at some place. Your children, family, business, everything may be settled there and one day you come to know that you will have to leave everything and go from there. Those roads, those streets… you will have to leave your settled world in a moment and go to a new place, where you will have to create a new world again. For any person, even imagining this is no less than a nightmare, but for the Afghan refugees living in Pakistan, this is now the nightmare of their life, which is forcing them to live like this.
Haji Mubarak Shinwari came to Pakistan in the year 1982 with his five sons and two brothers. He painstakingly built a network of businesses such as clothing and transportation here and now owns several properties in Al-Asif Square on the outskirts of Karachi. But now they may have to leave everything and go from here at any time.
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In fact, the Pakistan government has banned the transfer of cash and property from their country to Afghanistan, due to which people are not able to understand how to leave the property they have earned with hard work. The Pakistan government has allowed refugees to take with them only Rs 50,000 in cash per person. People say that this situation is like the India-Pakistan partition in 1947. People are completely helpless.
More than 1,65,000 Afghans displaced
The Pakistan government had set October 31 as the deadline to deport Afghans living without valid documents, two weeks after its expiry, thousands of people have been displaced. Now a plan has been made to send back people with valid documents also after December 31. More than 1,65,000 Afghans have left Pakistan since the deadline ended. The Government of Pakistan says that it has given shelter to more than 17 lakh refugees for several decades, but now they will have to return to their country.
Pakistan government’s allegation
On the displacement of Afghan refugees, the Pakistan government says that they have taken this decision due to security reasons. The government alleges that many of these Afghans are involved in criminal and terrorist activities. Recently, the Pakistan government had alleged that the soil of Afghanistan is being used to promote terrorist activities against Pakistan. The Pakistani government said that the Taliban government did not keep its promise to stop all this. However, the Taliban government had completely rejected this allegation of Pakistan.
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‘Mini Kabul’ resides in Karachi
There is a place named ‘Al-Asif Square’, a few kilometers north of Karachi city, where a sizeable population of Afghans lives. Nearby there are two large settlements of Afghan laborers and small businessmen. It can also be called ‘Mini Kabul’ of Karachi. When you come here, you will see shops of Afghan people far and wide and you will smell the delicious Afghan dishes being cooked there.