Rethinking the Significance of Refugee Laws for Pakistan

Key Points:

  • Pakistan, a dualist state, maintain the separation between national and international law, yet has not ratified the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol, which define refugee rights and the non-refoulement principle.
  • Pakistan’s refugee population primarily consists of Afghans, Biharis and Rohingyas, who have been struggling for decades to attain legal status and thereby fulfil their fundamental rights.
  • For multiple reasons, the non-existent national-level legislation on refugees has failed to safeguard refugee rights, primarily focusing on healthcare, employment opportunities, and education.
  • Amending citizenship laws and developing a policy on different aspects of hosting refugees, both short and long-term, including their integration into society, is crucial for Pakistan.

Bashira Omeed

Bashira Omeed serves as an Assistant Editor and Researcher at the Centre for Strategic and Contemporary Research. She has an MPhil in International Relations from NDU, Islamabad. Her research focuses on diplomatic relations, defence and security, and international affairs.

Usman Zulfiqar Ali

Usman Zulfiqar Ali is a Communications and Research Assistant at the Centre for Strategic and Contemporary Research (CSCR). His research focuses mainly on China’s geopolitical and international affairs. He tweets @UsmanZulfiqar and can be reached at

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