on the day we commemorate an nakba (albeit one under closure yet again)–when as a result of zionist ethnic cleansing of palestine, when 750,000 palestinians were forcibly removed from their homes and their land, when thousands of palestinians were massacred–we find a new nakba in the making in pakistan. this is from the united nations high commission for refugees:
In a visit to UNHCR-supported displacement camps, High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres called Thursday for a massive international aid effort for more than 800,000 Pakistanis recently uprooted by fighting in the country’s north-west.
“I feel an obligation to come here and express my personal solidarity with the Pakistani people,” Guterres said at the start of a three-day mission to Pakistan to assess UNHCR’s emergency response to the continuing displacement crisis.
“I want to use this occasion to make a very strong plea for massive international support . . . This is not a moment for small gestures,” added Guterres, who said it was time for the international community to repay Pakistan for its generosity in hosting millions of Afghan refugees over the years.
The High Commissioner expressed surprise at the speed with which the displacement was unfolding. He noted that more than 835,000 people have been registered as displaced since May 2, of whom just 80,000 are in camps like Yar Hussain. That is in addition to more than 550,000 registered displaced who fled their homes after earlier fighting in the north-west since last August.
“The majority of those fleeing are not staying in camps but with relatives or friends or they are renting shelter,” Guterres said. “But this is placing tremendous social and economic hardship on people. The dimensions of the problem are far out of proportion to the available resources.”
here is imran khan’s report on al jazeera of the yar hussain camp and guterres’ visit to the camp. in this video you will see a refugee from buner, rohi dad shah, who tells us, “i want to go home. there is nowhere like home”:
indeed this is a sentiment that palestinians know all too well. ayman mohyeldin’s report on al jazeera from gaza today shows us hussein abdel majid pointing to his land just over the colonial manufactured border. he, like many other palestinians in gaza, are refugees multiple times over as you can see in this report stories from survivors of those nakbas comparing them:
i suspect that pakistanis will be able to return to their homes sooner than palestinians will be able to. still, there are some palestinians who will never have the right to step on the soil of their land, like feras mazloum who was murdered by israeli terrorist colonist red tape. watch this heart wrenching story by casey kauffman on al jazeera about this 2 year old child with 2 holes in his heart who died because he was not allowed to seek medical care in one of the colonist’s hospitals: