Impact of the Afghan refugees on Pakistan

Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


International Studies

First Advisor's Name

Farrokh Jhabvala

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Ralph Clem

Third Advisor's Name

John Stack

Date of Defense



There was a massive influx of Afghan refugees into Pakistan following the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan in December 1979. An attempt has been made here to analyze the political, ethnic, economic and social ramifications of the Afghan refugees on Pakistan. Among the consequences of the presence of Afghan refugees are:

1. A heavy burden on Pakistan's resources on account of sustaining the 2.8 million Afghan refugees

2. Friction between Afghan refugees and the Pakistani population, due to land, employment, animal grazing-pasture and water-supply disputes, and

3. A direct threat to Pakistan's internal security and political stability, which is made evident by numerous violations of Pakistan's western borders by Soviet-Afghan air and ground forces in pursuit of the refugees and Afghan Mujahidin.

The political talks on the Afghan crisis are deadlocked on the question of a Soviet troop withdrawal. The Soviets and Afghans insist on the stoppage of foreign support to the Afghan counterrevolutionaries. The refugees in Pakistan will not return to their homes unless they are insured a safe and honorable life by the Afghan government.



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