Afghans in Pakistan - Case Studies and Policy Thinking

(December 2004 - December 2005)

Conflict in Afghanistan over the past three decades has spawned one of the largest caseloads of displaced people anywhere in the world. The policy paradigm for addressing the needs and welfare of this large displaced population has remained anchored to the "conflict-refugee" framework that was first deployed at the time of the Soviet military intervention in the country. There is a growing realization that the "conflict-refugee" framework represents a far to simplistic and unrealistic understanding of Afghan population movements in the region. Pakistan, which is the home to millions of people of Afghan origin, shares a long history of migratory movements with Afghanistan. New ways of looking at the experience and outlooks of the Afghans in Pakistan will be the first step towards a reorientation of the policy paradigm towards greater realism. The Kabul-based Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) commissioned the Collective to carry out three case studies of Afghans in Pakistan, respectively, in Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta. These case studies formed part of a bigger body of research encompassing Afghanistan and Iran, on refugee and migrant movements. The research undertaken for the case studies consisted mostly of qualitative data collection including community mappings and individual and group case studies. Transnationalism and transnational social networks were particular theme of interest in the research. The Collective was also asked to prepare a country briefing paper to reflect the lessons of the empirical research on future policy directions. Project findings were presented in two workshops -- one held in April 2005 in Kabul, and the other in February 2006 in Islamabad.

Publications and Papers

The Collective Team, Afghans in Pakistan: Broadening the Focus. Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, Kabul. January 2006.

Keywords: Migration , Conflict , Afghans

The Collective Team, Afghans in Quetta: Settlements, Livelihoods, Support Networks and Cross-Border Linkages. Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, Kabul. January 2006.

Keywords: Migration , Conflict , Afghans , Balochistan , Social Networks

The Collective Team, Afghans in Peshawar: Migration, Settlements and Social Networks. Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, Kabul. January 2006.

Keywords: Migration , Conflict , Afghans , Social Networks

The Collective Team, Afghans in Karachi: Migration, Settlement and Social Networks. Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, Kabul. March 2005.

Keywords: Migration , Conflict , Afghans , Karachi , Social Networks