Pakistan for the longest time has been bearing the brunt of the Afghan war. There is no denying that we have tried our best to accommodate not just the United States of America (USA) but also the people of Afghanistan. Pakistan opened its doors to welcome Afghan refugees who were fleeing their country in order to save themselves during the Soviet invasion, then the US invasion, of the country; followed by a new wave of refugees fleeing militants. However, it has been a long time since the war ended but Afghan refugees are still settled in Pakistan. This means a huge burden on the economy of Pakistan – one solely created by the aftereffects of US foreign policy.

USA instead of indulging in the blame game needs to take ownership of its actions and make effective policies to resolve the matter. Prime Minister Shahid Khan Abbasi is right in asking the US for helping Pakistan in the repatriation of the refugees. This is a matter that they need to consider while devising their policy for Afghanistan. The fact that Pakistan opened its doors for Afghans is a proof that Pakistan has done everything in its capacity to ease the situation However, considering that relationship between USA and Pakistan has deteriorated to hard cold, calculable duties and liabilities – broken down into dollars – it is about time the US helps solve a problem it created.

This should not be, in any manner, considered a tit for tat rhetoric reply from Pakistan to American calls of “do more”; as this is a pressing matter which is important for security – both sides of the border. The successful and equitable repatriation of Afghan refugees to their home is not only the ultimate, and humanitarian, objective at the close of the war, it is a security requirement. Bringing order to the border region by resettling the chaotic refugee camps will help greatly in stopping illegal cross-border movement of people and goods.

Despite the deterioration of political ties, the security and diplomatic administrations of both countries have shown intent for continued cooperation. A renewed commitment to cooperation between the USA and Pakistan – built on quantifiable mutual responsibilities – is necessary to achieving peace in the region. USA must pay attention to Pakistan’s legitimate concerns and demands; and this statement from the Prime Minister serves as perfect opportunity start that process.