Govt has no clear cut policy on Afghan migrants: MPs
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirga or lower house of parliament on Monday accused the government of lacking a clear cut policy on Afghan refugees in Europe, summoning the refugee and foreign ministers.
Media reports say President Ghani during a telephonic conversation has asked the German prime minister not to expel Afghan refugees who arrived there through illegal ways, but the German minister responded that the German government did not discuss the issue with the Afghan government.
Lawmaker Mohammad Arif Rahmani from southern Ghazni province told Monday’s session the government had no clear policy regarding Afghan refugees in Europe. “Because the president says one thing, the foreign minister another and the refugee minister says something else regarding the refugees.”
The Afghans reached Europe after enduring numerous hardships on the way as they fled joblessness, injustice, insecurity and poverty in their country, therefore the officials concerned should not play with their fate, he said.
Another legislator from Nimroz, Farida Hamidi, said hundreds of people were going to Europe via Nimroz and Iran. “If there were jobs, no one is ready to endanger his/her life.”
MP Ahmad Behzad from western Heart province said the government was bound under Article 39 of the Constitution to support Afghan citizens inside and outside of the country. “The government should not sign any memorandum of understanding that facilitates the return of Afghan refugees.”
“The people who left the country should be settled there and the government should prevent more youth from fleeing and should carry out infrastructure schemes,” suggested Saleh Mohammad Saleh, a lawmaker from eastern Kunar province.
Some other lawmakers called for the foreign and refugee ministers to be summoned. Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said “initial reports suggest 140 Afghans faced hardships in reaching Europe and each of them incurred an average expenditure amounting to $8000 on the trip.”
He asked the house commissions on international affairs and refugees to summon the two ministers to brief lawmakers about the government’s stance on Afghan refugees and what steps the government was taking.
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