Returning refugees in Baghlan demand shelter, jobs
PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): Afghan refugee families who recently returned from neighboring Pakistan to northern Baghlan province complain about absence of residential facilities, joblessness, poor living conditions and no attention on the part of the government towards these issues.
About 1000 families recently arrived in Baghlan after being forcibly expelled from Pakistan. Most of them are living in tents or with their relatives in Dahna area of Pul-i-Khumri, the provincial capital.
Mohammad Gul, one of the repatriated refugees who is currently living in a tent in Gadanha village of Dand-i-Ghori locality, told Pajhwok Afghan News he had been living with his family in Pakistan’s Karachi city over the past 18 years. He said they were recently forced by Pakistan to leave the country.
“All of our land properties are usurped by powerful individuals in Baghlan, our houses here had been destroyed due to the decades of war, currently we live in a ruined place under a tent in a village which is under Taliban control, we all are jobless and no one has so far helped us,” he said.
He was concerned about the fast approaching winter and said: “We do not know what to do, where to go and how to address our problems.”
Yar Mohammad, another refugee who returned from Pakistan to Baghlan with his 10 member family, said: “We are from Jar Khushk area of Baghlan-i-Markazi district, we cannot go to our area due to clashes there and we currently live with our relatives in Shar-i-Jadid, we don’t know how long we would be here.”
He said he has several times shared his problems with the Baghlan refugees and repatriation department, but no avail.
Provincial refugees and repatriation director Mohammad Naeem Kakar said more than 600 returning refugees had been registered with his department during the past three months.
Most of the refugees belong to Pul-i-Khumri City, Baghlan-i-Markazi, Dehna Ghori, Nahrain and Barka districts, he said, adding a number of the refugees were living in their own houses while others hosted by their relatives.
Kakar assured problems of the refugees had been shared with the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation and charity organizations had been asked for help. He hoped the refugees would receive necessary aid before winter.
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