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Three Million Afghans Face Displacement

Pakistan's plan to revoke refugee status of Afghan refugees leaves millions at risk

Common Dreams staff

An Afghan refugee on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. (photo: Muhammed Muheisen/AP)

Three million Afghans could be displaced at the end of the year if Pakistan follows through with its plan to invalidate the refugee status of and expel the world's biggest cluster of refugees from its country, the Guardian reports.

Pakistan's top administrator in charge of the Afghan refugee issue, Habibullah Khan, told the Guardian, "The international community desires us to review this policy but we are clear on this point. The refugees have become a threat to law and order, security, demography, economy and local culture. Enough is enough."

"If the international community is so concerned, they should open the doors of their countries to these refugees. Afghans will be more than happy to be absorbed by the developed countries, like western Europe, USA, Canada, Australia," he said.

While most of the Afghan refugees live in poverty in Pakistan, their situation if forced to return to Afghanistan may be more grim.

"I haven't stepped across the border in 30 years," said Sher Zaman, 62. "I don't even have a single room to go to in Afghanistan. I'm a poor man. I hope I can stay here and die here."

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