There are two things which you can see the international media going crazy about these days:
- Russian meddling in Syria and…
- The European refugee crisis
Oh! Three if you consider Donald Trump significant enough to put him on any list.
Although the Russian support for Assad is big news I would like to talk about the other big “problem” that the west is facing, which is the Refugee crisis.
As we all know, millions of people are fleeing Syria and Iraq to escape the wars there (wars in which the west is actively involved). According to official figures there are around 3 million refugees on the run. Of these, most have settled in Turkey and Iran and a few have made it to Europe. However, if you listen to the western media, you would think that the whole of the Middle East is trying to relocate to Europe.
Superlatives are used extensively in any news report about the migration of the approximately 0.5 million people to THE WHOLE of Europe. Compare this to the ~1.6 million refugees already in Turkey and you will understand the scale of exaggeration and paranoia that the media is generating in the minds of the people.
These so-called backers of human rights care more about the people crossing their borders than the people dying on the way there to escape a western backed war; and making such a big deal of it.
Europe is made up of 50 countries. Even if we distribute the refugees evenly, you get a rough figure of ~ 100k in each country. That’s peanuts! Pakistan, a single country, a poor country, absorbed more than 3 million refugees in the 70’s and 80’s. Refugees who were escaping the war in Afghanistan, a war fought by the west, against the west (40% of Europe is Russia), but in an impoverished Asian nation.
Below are some facts that should be presented to the west to get them to quiet down about their puny refugee issue.
Pakistan and Afghan Refugees
- As of today, Pakistan still hosts 1.5 million Afghan refugees according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. That’s still 3 times the number of people forecasted to land in Europe.
- The migration of Afghan refugees began in December 1979 when the (then) USSR invaded Afghanistan. The refugees continued their migration throughout the 1980’s.
- Most Afghan refugee families migrated to Pakistan in the early years of the war. More than 50 percent arrived in 1979 and 1980.
- Towards the end of 1988, it was estimated that approximately 3.3 million Afghan refugees were in Pakistan.
- The same year it was estimated that they were living in 340 refugee camps in Pakistan, most of them in Kyber-Pakhtunkhuwa (then known as NWFP).
- The largest number of the Afghan refugees (around 60%) were those who came to Pakistan with nothing and were completely dependent on Pakistan and international aid for their sustenance.
- TheJalozai refugee camp in 1988 had a 100,000 refugees. Yes, just one single camp on the outskirts of Peshawar.
- 80 percent of Afghan refugees in Pakistan have been here for more than 2 decades and 50 percent have been born here in exile.
- Pakistan has spent approximately Rs. 200 billion, since the crisis began, on Afghan refugees. Considering the pathetic state of the Pakistani economy and the level of poverty in the country, this is a huge number.
- Although Pakistan has begun repatriation of these refugees, the government has given a two year extension for their stay (till 2017) on the request of the United Nation’s Refugee Agency.
So, in conclusion, one is forced to ask the rich countries of Europe: What’s all the fuss about?
Why are you making such a big deal over taking in a few refugees (comparatively of course) that got displaced because of the implementation of your own foreign policies in their home countries?
If you really believe in the human rights that you preach, stop making all this noise and embrace your fellow human beings with open arms!
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