Dawn published a heart wrenching Reuters’ piece on the Afghan exodus from Pakistan. The photos and text are deeply saddening. The worst part is this:
Some analysts say the migrants are being used as scapegoats to distract attention from the authorities’ failure to end violence.
“It is so easy to exploit them. They have no legal framework to protect them,” said Samina Ahmed, South Asia project director at the International Crisis Group. “Targeting Afghan refugees is a diversion.”
I don’t see any evidence to believe the analysts are wrong.
It’s all leading to stories like this:
Shahkirullah Sabawoon, an Afghan clothes merchant in Peshawar, is one of the people preparing to leave.
“Pakistan is our second home and we have invested billions of rupees in different businesses but police are asking us to shut our businesses and leave the country,” he said.
Shahkirullah said many in the community were too afraid to visit the market and check their shops for fear of being arrested.
“We have made up our minds to leave Pakistan and move our businesses to Afghanistan but it’s not an easy task.”
The anger against Afghan refugees is knee-jerk, misled, and hurtful. It is against any idea of multiculturalism, of global solidarity, of a basic humanity to help who one can.
It’s easy to scream at immigrants and say that undocumented immigrants may pose a threat. It’s too easy. Many of them ran away from the sort of terror we face now, and we are breaking their lives again so we can pretend that we made some progress to eradicate terrorism.
Shahkirullah’s life is worth more than anything we stand to gain. This is the wrong move.
There is good reason for hatred of Pakistan if you are Afghan. There is a list of grievances, this is just the latest.