MASS DEPORTATION OF AFGHAN REFUGEES FROM PAKISTAN: REFUGEE LAW AT STAKE OR SOLUTION FOR HALTING TERRORISM?
Pakistan has been a host to millions of afghan refugee for about more than 40 years. Initially, Pakistan provided asylum to the afghan refugees on the basis of Islamic brotherhood and called the afghan refugees as “Muhajirs.” Even though, Pakistan is not a signatory to the 1951 convention of refugee and its protocols of 1967. Yet Pakistan has a morale responsibility to give protection to the Muslims around the world because Pakistan is assumed as a castle of Islam. However, there has been a shift in this open door policy of Pakistan for Afghan refugees and in 2002 approximately four million Afghan refugees returned to their homeland with the support of UNHCR. After the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the afghan refugees have been reluctant to return to their country of origin due to their affiliation with the US. Lately, the caretaker government of Pakistan issued a statement about the deportation of unauthorized immigrants that largely impacted the Afghan refugees due to their large number living in Pakistan. This verdict of government included two phases of repatriation: in the first phase voluntary deportees were facilitated, whereas the second phase included the use of force in the repatriation process. This whole process of repatriation was presented as cessation of terrorism in Pakistan by the governmental authorities. This paper analyses the status of Pakistan and the refugee law for sending back the afghan refugees to the Afghanistan. This paper also examines how the mass migration has alleviated the problem of terrorism in Pakistan.