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Can the Afghan Diaspora Speak? Diasporic Identity in the Shadow of Human Rights

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Chapter Summary

The case of Afghan refugees in Pakistan is one of the most protracted refugee situations in the world. Formally assisted by the UNHCR and the Pakistani government, in the form of the provincial Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees and the Ministry for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), the lives of these refugees and migrant Afghans in Pakistan are shaped by how they are "seen" in the Pakistani "imaginaire". This chapter seeks to understand the legal and social identity of the Afghan diaspora living in Pakistan. The rights of minorities are often the weakest link in the complex equation of citizenship and entitlement in nation states. It can be argued that the state interface with them as refugees or asylum seekers and later as citizens, and the society's interaction with them directly after integration or through public discourse on refugees and asylum seekers, provide insights into the ethos of citizenship and democracy.

Keywords: Afghan diaspora; Pakistan; provincial Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees; SAFRON; UNHCR



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