Refugees – Morrison lowpoint at the Lowy

Morrison’s proposition at the LOWY demonstrated a total ignorance of the realities of the refugee situation and Australia’s responsibility- but then what’s new.

Morrison proposed sending Afghans back to border camps in Pakistan and Iran.

Firstly why does he think that they are here and not bunked up in Iran and Afghanistan with their families? Maybe he does not think and my expectations are set too high. The evidence from Afghan Hazaras is that they are not safe in either of these countries where they can be shot and killed on the streets of Quetta or picked up and transported to the Afghan border in Iran and handed over to their Pashtun persecutors. That is why they are here.

Secondly Australia has no capacity to send anyone back to Iran unless they agree in writing. In spite of all efforts Australia has been unable to broker a deal with Iran on this score which Ruddock found out to his embarrassment when he promised Iran all sorts of goodies back in 2004 in return for Iran taking back Iranians from Baxter only to have Iran renege.

The Iranian government is expelling and transporting Afghanis so why would they take them from Australia. You would think that Ruddock would give his colleague some background to this. Perhaps he did not think that it was necessary since refugee politics is so toxic that anything can be said as long as it demonizes and denies refugees.

As for Pakistan- the Australian government was unable to get permission to send the body of the man who died in Curtin this year. He was an Afghan Hazara whose family live in “a border camp” Quetta in Pakistan. With all the pressure Australia could bring to bear they failed to even repatriate a dead Afghan man. The Pakistani government flatly refused.
Surely indicative of difficulty in repatriating hundreds of live people.

As for the headline below- it is confusing as THE AUSTRALIAN headlines often are bearing no relevance to the article they head.

My reading of the article is that Morrison wants to send boatpeople to Pakistan and Afghanistan but wants to TAKE refugees from ” Central Asia”.

Central Asia comprises the stans- Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan not necessarily including Afghanistan.
I guess the important thing for Morrison and the Australian is that the libs are ripping into boat people- does not really matter what they say or if it makes sense.

Liberals propose sending refugees back to Central Asia for processing

  • Paul Maley, National security correspondent
  • From: The Australian
  • December 01, 2010 12:00AM

Afghan asylum-seekers who arrive in Australia by boat would be returned to Central Asia for processing under a proposal from the opposition.

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