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    Pakistani nationalists slam Malik's statement

    ISLAMABAD (PAN): Several Pakhtun nationalist leaders of Pakistan strongly condemned on Thursday Interior Minister Rehman Malik's statement regarding the involvement of Afghan refugees in terrorist activities in the country.

    Last week, Rehman Malik had told reporters in Quetta, the capital of southwestern Balochistan province, Afghan refugees were behind recent terrorist activities.

    Malik has an unrealistic approach as Afghan refugees were living in Pakistan under international law, said Afzal Khan Lala, a former federal minister and senior member of the Awami National Party (ANP).

    Calling the refugees their guests, he said: "Dozens of people are killed in Pakistan's commercial hub of Karachi on a daily basis. Are they also killed by Afghan refugees?"

    A former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa food minister, Farid Toofan, said refugees were not a drag on Pakistani's resources, because officials received millions of dollars in aid for them.

    "Refugees are running their private businesses here and they have not asked the government for work," he said, asking why they -- tired of terrorist activities in Afghanistan -- would aid the scourge in Pakistan.

    Hundreds of Pakistanis were working in Afghanistan, he pointed out. "Why Malik wants to create problems for Afghans? Farid asked.

    Pakhtunkhwa Mili Awami Party leader Mukhtar Yousafzai said: "The minister must provide proof of Afghan refugees' involvement in terrorism and share it with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)."

    His statements would not only increase the problems of Afghan refugees but would also damage relations between the neighbours, he said.

    Afghanistan embassy in Islamabad had also condemned statement of Malik and had said Afghans had no hand in acts of terrorism in Pakistan.