Thursday, December 13


Six months is not long and July will be here before we know it. Pakistan has extended refugee status for 1.6 million Afghan refugees living in that country for six months.

"Pakistani officials have long expressed their frustration with the lack of progress in repatriating the world's largest refugee community - Afghans who fled the Soviet invasion and later, Taliban rule," reports Alex Rodriguez for the Los Angeles Times. "Many refugees have lived in Pakistan for more than three decades. Their presence is resented by many Pakistanis, who see the refugees as a source of escalating crime and accuse them of involvement in terror strikes across the country."

United Nations officials and others would prefer a more lasting resolution.

"The core protection challenge in Pakistan is the absence of a specific legal regime for the protection of refugees," reports the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Refugees. "Individually recognized refugees and asylum-seekers have difficulty in accessing basic facilities and essential services including education, health care and work in Pakistan. Many of them have limited income opportunities so they must survive through informal work arrangements."

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