UNHCR will not shy away from its responsibilities towards Afghan Refugees: Minister for SAFRON

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for SAFRON Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan has said that the UNHCR and international bodies shall not shy away from their responsibilities towards Afghan refugees.

The minister expressed these views during his meeting with Ambassador of Afghanistan to Pakistan Najibullah Alikhil. The minister said that Pakistan is very clear in its approach towards the Afghan refugees and it has been and it will always be going an extra mile to facilitate the Afghan refugees.

He further said that keeping in view the problems faced by refugees with expired POR cards, special instructions have been issued to all security wings via Ministry of Interior to help avoid all sorts of inconveniences faced by the refugees.

“Pakistan has been nurturing Afghan refugees by providing them with equal opportunities as its own citizens in every field of life. Resultantly, today many refugees can be seen constructively contributing to the economy and society of Pakistan. It has always been our priority to deal with all refugees with care and dignity,” said Mehboob Sultan.

The minister emphasised that international bodies will not abandon Afghan refugees, given the fact that the world is forgetting the sacrifices made by Pakistan in graciously hosting four million Afghans over the past 41 years. He said that Afghans have been exempted from all the fees and taxes on visas and arrival to avoid any inconvenience. He said that Pakistan has been sharing its resources with the refugees, even when contemporarily no substantial foreign support is provided.

He said that Aghan students have been provided jobs and granted admissions in schools and universities on a priority basis.

Ambassador Najibullah lauded the efforts made by Pakistan and its pivotal role in leading the peace process in Afghanistan.

He said that both the states are connected through deep cultural bonds, an opportunity for further deepening the ties between two states. “I see tremendous potential between two brotherly countries,” said the ambassador.

“It is my privilege to be ambassador to Pakistan. I’ll do everything in my capacity to take our relationship to a new level,” he said. The Afghan envoy said that visit of Abdullah Abdullah in November last year means a lot about the developing ties and success of the peace process.

He said that a lot has been done on part of Pakistan and both the states are finally heading in the right direction. He said that people-to-people contact is the first priority of the Afghan government and the current political environment will further the relations in a positive direction.

He said that the Afghan government is ready to extend any support to further the communication to resolve issues of refugees.

Preciously, the Afghan envoy meets with the Representative of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Pakistan Noriko Yoshida. According to his tweet, stated: “Today I had a meeting with Ms Noriko Yoshida, the Representative of UNHCR in Pakistan and her Deputy. We discussed in details the issues related to the Afghan Refugees, the Afghan schools in Pakistan as well as cooperation for Afghan reparation.”

Raja Furqan Ahmed

Raja Furqan Ahmed is the News Editor of The Pakistan Daily.

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