The Pakistani Government is increasingly concerned about the effect Afghan refugees are having on the economy of the North-West Frontier Province.
GV EXTERIOR Buses, taxis, trucks from Afghanistan parked in Pakistan refugee camp
SCU ZOOM INTO CU Number pla???e on Afghan buses with Pakistan registration plate
GV PAN Afghan buses and taxis moving along Pakistan's roads (3 shots)
GVs Refugee camps with parked vehicles amid crowds (2 shots)
GV Afghan camels and other animals carrying merchandise from Afghanistan (2 shots)
GV AND SV Afghan farmers with herds of sheep and goats (3 shots)
GV Mountain ZOOM OUT To refugee camp
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Background: The Pakistani Government is increasingly concerned about the effect Afghan refugees are having on the economy of the North-West Frontier Province. Nearly a million refugees have arrived in the area since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
SYNOPSIS: Last January, as the first few refugees arrived, they were welcomed by the local Pakistanis. But since then, the trickle of Afghans has becomes a flood, threatening to overwhelm the local people. There's concern that the situation could result in clashes. In effect, much of Afghanistan's economy has moved to Pakistan. In addition to people, trucks, buses and cars have arrived, filling local streets. Afghan truck owners are now competing with Pakistanis for business, carrying goods as far as Lahore and Karachi--1700 kilometres (1050 miles) away. The refuges are opening their own stores and cafes, and are vying with Pakistani carpet weavers and coppersmiths.
More than 70 refugee villages are now established in the North-West Frontier Province. This vast movement is bound to have affected Afghanistan's own economy. One Afghan refugee, an agricultural expert, claims that crop production in his home-land will drop this year by 60 to 70 percent. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees estimate that some two million head of livestock have moved from Afghanistan to Pakistan. The lambing season resulted in what U.N. officials say was a surprising increase in the size of herds. This means refugees and natives are now desperately competing for grazing land and water supplies. There's also competition for firewood for cooking and heating fuel. A wood shortage has developed, and relief agencies are looking at ways of overcoming the difficulty.
To stop the problem from spreading, the Pakistani Government is now attempting to confine the refugees to the border areas with Afghanistan.