After Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, four million Afghan refugees had crossed the PAK-Afghan border to escape death, till 1989 Soviets were defeated and were compelled to retreat from Afghanistan, during Taliban rule in Afghanistan refugees were reluctant to go back, after demise of Taliban rule and with arrival of Mr. Hamid Karazai in power through elections in 2004 no substantial change is witnessed in terms of return of Afghan refugees to their homeland, good number of refugees are still living within Pakistan. In Kohat district Ghamkole refugee camp, Ublun camp and Ghulam Banda refugee camp are main spots where refugees are living in mud houses, in Paracha Town Kohat mud houses are constructed by refugees for their residence, in Kohat city and suburban areas of Kohat refugees are residing in brick and mud houses from last 27 years or so.
Refugee children born in early 90’s on Pakistani soil are now full grown men and women, such refugees in Kohat can speak local Hindku language, and can be found driving public transport vehicles on Kohat KDA road, just opposite to posh area of KDA Kohat Ghamkole refugee camp is located on Kohat Dara Adam Khel road, along the railway track on Kohat Pindi road mud houses of refugees can be seen, they are scattered every where, in posh area of Paracha Town Kohat refugee men and children along with their flock of sheep and goats can be seen moving within the streets of Paracha Town. Refugee women residing in mud houses wear Ghagira and heavy Shalwar, but educated refugee women wear Shalwar Qameez like Pakistani women, Afghan refugee women works hard and is victim of traditional slave trade, in dense forest of Hangu district while hunting for pray when I went deep into the forest with a rifle near a stream I suddenly came across around five Afghan refugee girls collecting water from the stream, my host told me that refugees are living in tents installed in forest.
Refugee women with a huge pitcher of water on her head can travel for miles to bring water to her family, near Ublan camp I had witnessed a gorgeous Afghan refugee girl moving on sharp stones bare footed with a huge pitcher of water on her head to provide water to her family. Even in Jalalabad city of Afghanistan condition of Afghan women and girls is not so good, while eating lunch in a restaurant of Jalalabad I was enjoying the pleasant weather of Jalalabad when a ten years old young girl with her torn Ghagira came near me and had asked for charity, I was bewildered to see the beauty of young child and had poured out few notes from my pocket to help her. Women in Jalalabad are also victim of slave trade; parents receive good money while marrying them even to old people.
When I had questioned a young Afghan regarding Opium Brides he has said in Southern provinces of Afghanistan Opium crop is cashed by the owners and no incidents of giving daughters in return of debts to money lenders for marriage after destruction of Opium crops are witnessed, no one can harm Opium crop in Southern districts of Afghanistan which are under control of Taliban militants. The young Afghan has said that Afghans living in refugee camps of Pakistan come to Afghanistan to fight against US lead NATO forces. According to a local journalist all militant commanders are drug barrens, latest weapons are bought with drug money to fight against Pakistan security forces in tribal areas of Pakistan and US lead NATO forces in Afghanistan. I had witnessed huge stocks of Cannabis in a big hall located in Kalaya area of Orakzai Agency cannabis was saved in bags of goat skin, bearded owner of the cannabis stock had offered us green tea, then we were moved to see a factory located in a basement where cannabis was produced, on basement stairs big portrait of General Zia ul Haq was pasted by the owners, Kalaya area is inhabited by Orakzai tribesmen most of the houses in serene valley of Kalaya were built of mud bricks, large houses with high boundary walls equipped with bunkers and holes for rifle barrels on top of the roofs, a journalist from Orakzai Agency had told me ‘Pumpkin cooked in water is served to abducted person, kidnapped for ransom from settled areas and kept in these big houses’.
In most of the refugee camps located within Kohat district refugees are living under subhuman conditions, women and children are exposed to extreme weathers during summers mud houses and tents become extremely hot and due to lack of sanitation facilities various diseases breakout in these camps, due to scarcity of water in these camps refugees emit bad smell specially refugee women smells really bad. Human beings are exposed to all these hardships due to ideological conflict between Soviet and US bloc countries in the past, UNHCR is making efforts to send back Afgahn refugees from Pakistan off and on UNHCR offers money to the families willing to go back to Afghanistan, it shall speed up its efforts to eliminate the hardships of refugees living in subhuman conditions in Pakistan.