A group of 45 members of the Afghan Parliament have written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott appealing to him to reconsider the government’s proposal to re-introduce Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs). The translated text of the letter is below.

To: The Hon Tony Abbott, Prime Minister, Australia
Cc: the Hon Scott Morrison, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

Dear Prime Minister,

We, the members of Afghanistan’s parliament acknowledge, and appreciate, the collaboration and cooperation that the people, parliament and the government of Afghanistan receive from the people, parliament and the government of Australia. We are very thankful for the endless efforts make by the people and the government of Australia to bring peace and security to our country.

We are also grateful to the people and the government of Australia for hosting refugees from Afghanistan. As you know the continuing insecurity and terrorist activities in Afghanistan are taking the lives of our people and many of our people are vulnerable to these threats.

In this situation, the continuing assistance of the Australian people and the government is crucial to save our people lives. While the Afghan parliament acknowledges and appreciates your continued assistance and commitment to the right to human life, and the protection of human rights and human dignity, we would like to bring the following matters to your attention:

1) Due to the lack of security, the Australian embassy in Kabul has not been able to gather information about those areas where the largest numbers of refugees and displaced people are living. We are ready to cooperate in gathering and collecting such information with the Australian government and the Australian parliament.

2) We urge you to reconsider the introduction and implementation of Temporary Protection Visas. This policy will not solve the problems of refugees and asylum seekers. We are very thankful that Afghan people and refugees are able to consider ‘Australia’ as their second home and that while respecting Australian values and laws, they can work and live without fear of being deported. The Temporary Protection Visa will not help the legal transfer of the asylum seekers and refugees’ families. Therefore, we hope that, as in the past, the refugees and asylum seekers will be treated with care and compassion and that you will reconsider the introduction of Temporary Protection Visas.

3) Afghan refugees do not have good experiences in either our neighbouring countries (Iran & Pakistan), or in the Gulf countries hosting them, and they face serious problems.
As a friend of Afghanistan, we would expect the Australian government to pay attention to providing basic human rights for Afghan refugees and to treat them in a compassionate way.

4) We are ready to cooperate with the Australian government to prepare legal migration pathways and so prevent unauthorised migration.
Once again, while we are thankful to you, we are looking forward to your consideration to review the [Temporary Protection Visa] policy.

Sincerely yours,

Dr Sajjadi (Ghazni, abdolqaium@yahoo.com, +93 799345952 )
Ali Akbar Qasemi (Ghazni), MP Nasseri (Wardak), MP Raihana Azad (Uruzgan), MP Mohammad Ibrahim Qasemi (Kabul), ), Ramazan Bashardost (Kabul), Zahra Farkhnda (Kabul), Nilofar Ibrahimi (Badakhshan), Karokhe (Herat) , plus 36 others. Members of Parliament, Afghanistan


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