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LAHORE: The panellists at the session on “The Impact of Closing Boarder on Afghan Refugees” at the Asma Jahangir Conference 2021 on Sunday said that humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan since the fall of government had hit the basic human rights hard. More than 65% of the Afghan people were facing critical situation and issues such as displacement, poverty, hunger, violence and lawlessness.

The senior journalist, author and analyst, Zahid Husain was the moderator while Androulla Kaminara Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan, Orzala Nemat Founder of the Women and Youth Leadership Forum and Simbal Khan Consultant Regional Peace and security issues expert UNDP were included in the panel.

Federal minister for information and broadcast was also invited for panel discussion but he could not reach in the conference.

Speaking on video link Orzala Nemant said that more than 30 million populations are deprived of basic human right. Colleges, universities and schools are closed by the Taliban led government. Government employees are unable to get their salaries. The international community and neighbouring countries of Afghanistan should play their due role to restore basic human rights and expedite sincere efforts to stop severe violation of human rights.

While paying glowing tributes to Asma Jehangir efforts for the human rights protection, she said “undoubtedly she was the hero and champion as she fought for rights of the deprived segment of society”

Simbal Khan said that, unfortunately no law and policy exist for closing borders. Lack of legislation is great hurdle and stumbling block in the way to open borders. Hence, he said, there is the dire need of legislation and clear cut policy regarding boarder closing.

He further said that discriminatory law for citizenship should be abolished .Afghan refugees could not get citizenship even after spending 20 years in Pakistan.

Androulla Kaminara Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan said that human rights violations have been surging in Afghanistan since Taliban militants seized control of the country. She further said that an increasingly brutal conflict is worsening the already serious human rights violations in the country.

She said that it was horrifying to see the rapid escalation of human suffering and displacement under Taliban rule. She said that 18 million people, needs humanitarian assistance and at least a third of the population does not have enough to eat and is suffering from acute hunger.

She said that half the children under five are acutely malnourished. And when a child is malnourished, this means also no access to enough food, to health, to water, to hygiene, to sanitation. And, also, malnutrition has a severe and irreversible impact on children. So, this is something that we cannot let continue, she said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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