The challenges of possible Afghan refugees influx in Chitral.

CHITRAL: According to latest media reports all the arrangements have been completed near Arandu border to accommodate 1200 Afghan refugee families. The people of Chitral have already shown their reservations at it’s possible negative impact on our society and economy.

According to the latest census the total population of Chitral (upper+lower Chitral) is half a million. It means (1200 families) we are expecting somewhat like one lack Afghan refugees. In such a brief and short time, the influx of one lack people is quite a formidable number.

On the contrary, Chitral is supposed to be one of the most remote and backward area of Pakistan. We don’t have any factories due to which job creation in Chitral is a huge problem. Our economic condition is vulnerable while our infrastructure is the poorest in Pakistan. I don’t know what policies and strategy have been finalised and executed by our policy makers in this regard. There is a one billion dollar question here. Will these people will be just confined in there shelters or they will be allowed to mix and mingle with rest of the population in Chitral.

The gravity of the situation demands that a special financial package should be announced be the centre so that we can improve our poor infrastructure and similarly the youth of Chitral should be given financial assistance to start their own business. We can only cope this Challenge if we make the people of Chitral economically strong.

Similarly we have concerns that crime will go up in Chitral. There should be a mechanism of strong monitoring and surveillance. We will also face the possible challenge of drug trafficking. We should pray for a smooth, swift and peaceful transfer of power in Kabul. There should be a national govt giving representation to all ethnic groups of Afghanistan. If the security situation in Afghanistan will be stabilized, inshallah, we expect an early exit of these Afghan refugees returning to there country. .. Sarwar Kamal, Chitral 24 Aug 2021

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