Afghan refugees news: US wants Pakistan to keep border open for Afghan refugees

Afghan refugees news: US wants Pakistan to keep border open for Afghan refugees

WASHINGTON: There has been an increase in the influx of Afghan refugees along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, amid escalating violence by the Taliban in Afghanistan after the US withdrawal.
According to the Dawn report, given the situation, the US wants Pakistan to keep its borders with Afghanistan open to Afghan refugees.
“Therefore, in a place like Pakistan, it will be important that their borders remain open,” a senior State Department official said while briefing reporters on the new US refugee entry program for Afghan citizens.
“Obviously, if people go north or if they go from Iran to Turkey … (they have) the opportunity to enter the country as well as register with the government or the UNHCR,” the official said.
However, Pakistan is shying away from doing so. Since 1979, Pakistan has hosted millions of Afghans and more than three million are permanently settled in the country. According to the Dawn report, Pakistani officials argue that their economy is not strong enough to accommodate more refugees.
Visiting Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Moeed Yousuf told a briefing in Washington this week that arrangements should be made to keep displaced Afghans inside their country instead of being pushed into Pakistan.
“Why make them dar-ba-dar (homeless)? Make arrangements for them inside their country. Pakistan doesn’t have the capacity to take in more refugees.”
The US demand could worsen already strained relations between the two countries as Washington seeks to protect interpreters and others who have worked under special immigration visas (SIVs) for US government agencies and their families. has done.
The Taliban is specifically targeting those who helped the US in its fight against terrorism in the region. In addition, the Biden administration on Monday (local time) expanded access to refugee programs for Afghans working with the US.
“This designation expands the opportunity for permanent resettlement in the United States to the many thousands of Afghans and their immediate family members who may be at risk because of their American affiliation but who are not eligible for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV). are not eligible because they did not have qualified employment, or because they do not meet the periodic service requirement to become eligible,” the State Department said.

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