Pakistan : Five killed in explosion near police van Pakistan : Five killed in explosion near police van

Pakistan : Five killed in explosion near police van

Pakistan : Five killed in explosion near police van

Rescue officials said that 21 people, including a traffic policeman and a woman, were also injured in the explosion in Tank Base of Dera Ismail Khan district.

Five people were killed in an explosion near a police van in Dera Ismail Khan district of  Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Friday, according to police and rescue officials  .

Rescue officials said that  21 people, including a traffic policeman and a woman, were also injured in the explosion near the tank base.

Zameer Abbas, an official of DI Khan's Cantt police station, told Independent Urdu: 'A police force was on its way to the main road when it was targeted.' 

Police officer Zameer Abbas said that there is always a rush of people at this place, the injured have been shifted to a nearby hospital.

Reuters news agency quoted police official Mohammad Adnan as saying that it was not immediately clear whether it was a suicide blast or if a bomb had been planted there beforehand.

Dera Ismail Khan is located at the confluence of former tribal areas, known as FATA.

How will the return of Afghans affect the Pakistani economy?

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce Vice President Shahid Hussain told Independent Urdu that the return of Afghan refugees will definitely have an impact, but according to him, this impact will not last for long.

Sher Afghan (pseudonym) has been living in Peshawar for the past two years and runs a hairdresser's shop, but after the Pakistan government's decision to deport illegal residents, he decided to close his shop and move to Afghanistan . Decided to go back.

After the caretaker government of the Taliban came to Afghanistan  , the lions illegally entered Paksan through Chaman border due to their fear. He closed his hairdresser shop in Afghanistan and started his own business in Peshawar and also recruited five people.

He said, "We belong to a family of musicians and we entered Pakistan due to the fear of the Taliban, but now we have decided to go back because we will either be arrested here or we will leave on our own accord." We have decided to go willingly, but the fear of the Taliban is still present in our hearts.'

Similarly, Khan Gul (pseudonym), who has been running an Afghan burger shop in Peshawar's Bord Bazar for the past 20 years, has also decided to close his Jami Jamai shop and return to Afghanistan as he too has no choice but to stay in Pakistan. There is no legal document.

"We have almost finished the work in the shop and are planning to go back," he told Independent Urdu.

Like Sher Afghan and Khan Gul, there are hundreds of Afghans living in Peshawar who are doing small and big businesses here, but now they have to go back to Afghanistan due to lack of legal documents to stay in Pakistan. The main reason for this is the expiration of the October 31 deadline by Pakistan for the return of illegally staying foreigners.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ( UNHCR ), there are more than 1.3 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan, with the largest number residing in Peshawar (7 million) and Balochistan (3 million) in second place. According to the Federal Ministry of Interior, apart from the registered ones, about 1.7 million Afghans are living illegally in different areas of Pakistan without any travel or residence documents.

According to the data of the Interior Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, more than 130,000 illegal Afghans have returned from Torkham and Angwar Adda border points of Waziristan from October 6 to November 1.

Afghan refugees have been involved in small and large businesses in Pakistan and especially in Peshawar for the past four decades, and Bord Bazaar in Peshawar was also nicknamed 'Mini Kabul' because most of the businesses there are owned by Afghan refugees. .

Now, the return of Afghan refugees will have any effect on the economy of the country including Peshawar or not? In this regard, Independent Urdu has studied some experts and research papers to find out whether the departure of Afghan refugees will have a positive or negative impact on the economy.

How much share of Afghan refugees in the business of Peshawar?

For a research paper published in 2021 in the Journal of Humanities, Social and Management Sciences on the impact of Afghan refugees on Peshawar's economy, Peshawar's busy business centers were surveyed to find out which centers How many Afghan refugee shops are there?

According to the same paper, 60% of the Afghan refugees who came after the 'Afghan Jihad' were labourers, 20% businessmen, 5% skilled workers and 15% other occupations. The refugees who reached Pakistan brought about 2.5 million livestock with them.

According to the article, 45,000 camels and 25,000 donkeys were brought among these goods for business purposes. At that time, when the refugees started settling in other parts of the country including Peshawar, they made a place for themselves in various businesses.

Similarly, these individuals became involved in the business of imported goods smuggled from Afghanistan and Peshawar became a central market for this trade. Thus, gradually these refugees started making their own iron in other businesses and thus most of the refugees started earning themselves instead of external assistance.

For this paper, Qisa Khwani Bazar, Afghan Colony, Peshawar Cantonment and University Town were surveyed. Speaking of anecdotes, according to the paper, in this bazaar, 'turban money' (this is generally money given in advance for renting a shop, which is locally called 'patke' and in Urdu as 'turban') Goes) ranging from five to two million rupees.

According to the paper, 91% of the people involved in the carpet industry in Qisa-Khwani Bazaar were Afghan refugees, while 33% of the people involved in the leather and shoe business were also Afghans.

Similarly, 29 percent of the hotel and restaurant business was owned by Afghan refugees, while 15 percent of the clothing business was owned by Afghans.

 Most of the used goods are sold in the Afghan colony where only two shopkeepers out of 105 shops were owned by local people while the rest were owned by Afghan refugees.

As far as Peshawar Cantonment is concerned, the number of Afghan refugees in this area remained low but still they had their share in various businesses. According to the paper, in the Cantonment area, 29 percent of the cloth traders were Afghan nationals, while 50 percent of the carpet and antique (rare goods) traders were found to be Afghans, and similarly, 31 percent of those engaged in handicrafts were Afghans.

University Town was surveyed in the third place in this paper. University Town is among the busy and posh places of Peshawar. It is also located close to the refugee camps at Nasir Bagh and Katcha Garhi, while the UNHCR office is also located in the same area.

Afghan refugees accounted for 50 percent of those involved in the garment business, 83 percent in the carpet industry, and 53 percent in tailoring in this area.

What will be the effect on the economy?

Shahid Hussain, vice president of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry and former member of the Federal Committee for Pak-Afghan Trade, told Independent Urdu that there is no doubt that Afghan refugees have started small businesses since they came here. And with that they used to run the household expenses.

According to Shahid Hussain, if someone had less capital, for example, they used to go to the fruit market and buy fruits and sell them with handcarts, while Afghan refugees with more capital became involved in big business.

According to Shahid, now when they go back to Afghanistan, they will start the business from zero again, but it will definitely have an impact on the economy here because they used to pay taxes in different ways here and they must have a role in the economy. However, this effect will not last long.

He said that 'Afghan refugees who will leave the space, then people from Pakistan and different parts of the province will fill this space again.'

Shahid Hussain said that there were also Afghan refugees who did import and export business between Afghanistan and Pakistan, 'so I think that business will continue because they used to bring goods from Afghanistan and from Pakistan there. If you used to send it, it will still be the same.'

Dr. Nasir Iqbal is Professor of Economics at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics. He told Independent Urdu that this issue needs to be seen from two aspects, one of which is whether the return of Afghan refugees can actually be completed or it is a temporary return and the process cannot be completed.

He said that 'I think it looks like a return, but in reality it will be very difficult to send everyone back and the majority of those who left had no regular means of livelihood here and those who regularly had business here. If so, it is very likely that they will go back.'

Dr. Nasir said that this whole issue will have to be looked at from all these angles and there is no doubt that it will create some vacuum in the economy and especially in Peshawar, but it will be seen later that in reality If all the refugees are evacuated, then only the effects can be seen.

He said that 'Afghan refugees in Punjab and Sindh, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, are embedded in the society and it is very difficult to evict them all, but after evicting, its economic effects will be seen.'

Dr Nasir said that 'Illegal immigrants are sent back all over the world and illegal immigrants in any country understand that they can be caught and sent back at any time while working and this is now Pakistan. It has started but the overall economic sound does not affect the situation at a greater level.'

 According to Dr. Nasir, the return of Afghan refugees will definitely have an impact on their economic life. There will also be a vacuum. In the short term, we may not see any impact on the local economy, but in the long term, if the jobs left and not replaced by local people, the impact can be studied later.
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