Afghan refugees in Pakistan dream of peace, prosperity in homeland

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A 38-year-old Afghan refugee, Madiha Absar, moved to Pakistan 18 years ago after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.
Since then she has been dreaming of peace in her homeland.

She desires peace in her homeland so that she can return safely with her family.
“After the exit of foreign forces, it is relatively peaceful in Afghanistan, but my dream is far from being fulfilled,’’ Absar said.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are over 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

Qaiser Khan Afridi, the spokesperson for the UNHCR, Pakistan, told Xinhua that since January 2021, about 250,000 Afghan refugees came to Pakistan and settled in different areas.

“Pakistan itself is facing tough economic challenges; so, in this situation, we have appealed to international donors to support Afghans within their country so that their issues can be addressed at home,” he said.

The official said that plans were being made to help the newly-arrived refugees, consisting of a large number of youngsters, to develop skills so that they could be useful in Pakistan and and their home country when they would finally return.

Waseem Khan, a 23-year-old TikTok creator with over 100,000 followers, has no idea how Afghanistan looks.
According to him, his parents sneaked out of the country when he was less than two years old.

He said that his parents sneaked out to save their children.
“I have a lot of fans and friends in Pakistan and in Afghanistan.
I have a large number of relatives, many of whom I never met or spoke to,” Khan said.

Khan hoped to end the miseries of his relatives and others living in Afghanistan.

He said that they needed support from the international community in the absence of jobs and business opportunities.

At a green belt located near the power circles of Pakistan’s capital, some Afghan refugees have staged a sit-in under open skies for days demanding that Western countries should shoulder responsibility to help their country to overcome economic crisis.

“We are in this situation because of the war, and those who are responsible for the war and unrest should come forward to help us.
War is over and peace has been largely restored, but we are exposed to hunger, disease and extreme poverty,” Torebaz Khan, a refugee taking part in the sit-in with his kids for over two weeks, told Xinhua.

According to Khan, the solution to the crisis is a strengthened Afghanistan in which people have enough food and access to clean drinking water, quality education, businesses and employment opportunities to make a decent livelihood.