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Cablegate: Afghanistan Aids Pakistanis Fleeing Kurram Violence

VZCZCXRO3548
OO RUEHIK RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #0028 0030334
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 030334Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2185
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS KABUL 000028

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA/FO DAS CAMP, SCA/A, PRM
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/DCHA/DG
NSC FOR JWOOD
OSD FOR SHIVERS
CG CJTF-82, POLAD, JICCENT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREF PREL PHUM PK AF
SUBJECT: Afghanistan Aids Pakistanis Fleeing Kurram Violence

1. (U) Afghan media reported January 2 that President Karzai had
ordered an inter-ministerial humanitarian needs assessment in
anticipation of more Pakistani refugees fleeing Sunni-Shia fighting
in Kurram Agency. The Minister of Refugees and Repatriation is
leading an assessment team to the Terzai/Ali Sher, Bak and Jaji
Maidan districts of Khost province and to Jaji Aryoub and
Dand-wa-Patan districts in Paktia province. The Paktia Department
of Refugees and Repatriation has already provided shelter and
blankets to 111 Pakistani refugee families. Paktia's governor
estimates 1000 families may cross the border from Pakistan into his
province alone. Among these are likely to be Afghan families who,
years ago, fled war in their home country and settled among tribal
kinsmen in Pakistan.

2. (SBU) The United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan
(UNAMA) and the Kabul office of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) have dispatched a joint assessment team to the
affected areas. Both agencies are concerned harsh winter conditions
and high refugee volumes will strain Afghan central and provincial
humanitarian assistance capabilities; however, many of the Pakistani
refugees are likely to be absorbed by tribal relatives on the
Afghanistan side of the porous border.

3. (SBU) Comment: An Afghan government providing assistance to
Pakistani refugees is a dramatic reversal of the pattern that has
prevailed for most of the last thirty years. The government's
prompt response to a developing humanitarian crisis suggests the
nascent professionalism and growing capability of Afghan government
emergency response agencies.

WOOD

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