Islamic Emirate downplays concerns about returnees

KABUL (SW) – The Islamic Emirate authorities have downplayed concerns raised by aid organisations in regard to the return of hundreds of thousands of Afghan immigrants back from Pakistan.

As the United Nations said it was worried about the return of thousands of Afghan citizens on the eve of winter and the deepening of the humanitarian crisis in the country, the caretaker government of the Islamic Emirate says that the return of citizens to the country is not worrying and will not lead to any crisis.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman of the caretaker government of the Islamic Emirate, told Salam Watandar that it is better for the citizens to return to Afghanistan and contribute to the prosperity of their country. He adds: “We have no worries about the return of immigrants because they are all Afghans and they are returning to their country. It doesn’t lead to any crisis, it doesn’t bring unemployment with it because it is cheap in Afghanistan to live, the value of the Afghan currency is high. Afghans should return to their country and participate in the development of their country.”

On Saturday, the United Nations issued a report saying that the sudden return of hundreds of thousands of Afghan citizens at a time when humanitarian agencies are facing a lack of funds and, on the other hand, are trying to deal with the victims of the Herat earthquake, it will deepen the humanitarian crisis.

Officials in the Ministry of Economy also say that this ministry is in full control of the situation in coordination and cooperation with officials and people.

Abdurrahman Habib, the spokesman of the Ministry of Economy, says: “The meetings we had with organizations and industrialists, huge contributions have been obtained from well-wishers and organizations. Talks have been held with the factory owners to provide work for a number of immigrants in the factories. This situation is under our control due to the joint cooperation of people and various guilds.”

Citizens returning from Iran and Pakistan to Afghanistan are worried about their unclear future. Asadullah, a citizen who returned from Pakistan, says: “Our house, money and business remained in Pakistan. There are approximately 17 of us in the family, we have no shelter, no business, we have nothing for the winter, winter has already arrived.”

Mohammad Nabi Azimi, a citizen who returned from Iran, also says: “I have two children, we suffer from the lack of work, we went to Iran when we were unemployed. They kicked us out of work, now there is no work in Afghanistan either, we are unemployed. The government should find us a job.”

Some experts in economic issues and sociologists believe that the return of Afghan citizens from Pakistan and Iran will slow down the economic cycle, social disorder, spread of poverty and unemployment.

Iraj Faqiri, an expert on economic issues, says: “The return of immigrants from neighboring countries causes economic problems. On the other hand, over time, it brings poverty and unemployment.”

Ahmad Rashid Siddiqui, a sociologist, also says: “The influx of Afghan immigrants can be harmful to Afghanistan from various dimensions;. People face a bad economic situation; The lack of work and manufacturing factories and the fact that there is no place for them to live. We cannot deal with the issue of education and upbringing properly, most of the returnees are children and women. Women are not provided with a job field.”

According to United Nations statistics, since the beginning of the process of forced deportation of Afghan citizens from Pakistan, 350,000 people have been deported from this country. On the other hand, the head of Iran’s Immigration Department has announced the return of 450,000 Afghan refugees in the last four months.