Pakistan Doesn't Have Capacity to Take More Afghan Refugees, Warns Security Adviser
© AFP 2021 / BANARAS KHANPeople walk towards a border crossing point in Pakistan's border town of Chaman on July 17, 2021, after Pakistan partially reopened its southern crossing with Afghanistan, shut off since the Taliban seized control of the strategic border town on the other side.
The Pakistani government reportedly said that it has reached its limit and cannot accept more Afghan refugees. Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi earlier in July expressed concern about miscreants trying to enter their country under the guise of being refugees.
Pakistan cannot bear the burden of hosting more refugees from Afghanistan, said Pakistani National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf on Sunday. Yusuf is on a visit to the United States for talks with his American counterparts on the situation in Afghanistan.
Addressing a press conference in Washington, DC, he said: "Safe zones should be established within Afghanistan for the refugees. Unfortunately, Afghan soil has been used for activities against Pakistan in the past".
US President Joe Biden has set a deadline for American troops to completely withdraw from Afghanistan by September. Since the announcement, the situation in Afghanistan has worsened, with a spike in violence due to the constant fighting between the Taliban* and Afghan security forces.
A report by the United Nations (UN) claimed that civilian casualties have increased by 47 percent over last year. At present, the group is reportedly in control of 212 of the country's 426 districts, while the federal government is in charge of 111 districts.
Due to the escalating violence and security concerns, more Afghans are reportedly trying to flee their country and find a home in Pakistan. According to the Pakistani government, the country hosts more than three million Afghan refugees and half of them are unregistered.
The countries share a 2,640-km boundary and there are two key border crossings in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pakistan has reportedly fenced off 90 percent of the boundary and deployed the military and the Frontier Constabulary to guard it.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has denied a report that stated Pakistani fighters are allegedly crossing into Afghanistan to aid the Taliban. Khan said: "Pakistan pushed the Taliban to negotiate with the US over ending the conflict in Afghanistan".
*Taliban is a terrorist group banned in Russia and other countries.