Modalities for Afghan refugees’ return discussed
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Top Pakistani officials met in Islamabad on Thursday to formulate modalities for the repatriation of Afghan refugees to their motherland, the Foreign Office said.
Co-chaired by the adviser on foreign affairs and the minister for states and frontier regions,the meeting took place a day after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif extended by six months the stay of registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
In view of the current political, socio-economic and security situation, the participants stressed the early return of Afghan refugees to their homeland with dignity. Afghanistan and UNHCR will be contacted immediately to ensure sustained returns.
Foreign Office spokesman NafeesZakaria said the Afghan government would be engaged on the political and diplomatic level, whereas the Ministry of SAFRON would contact UNHCR and the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation (MoRR).
Officials from the two nations and the UNHCR will confer on the possibility of shifting Afghan refugees gradually from Pakistan to safer areas of Afghanistan, where the government should establish settlements.
Pakistan will formally discuss the issue in detail with the Afghan minister of refugees and UNHCRat the Tripartite Commission meeting, which is slated for July 19.
A stable, prosperous and peaceful Afghanistan was in the best interest of Pakistan, which would continue to support Kabul’s pursuit of peace as well as reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts, the participants said.
“As a gesture of goodwill, the government of Pakistan will offer free wheat to Afghan returnees in the newly-established settlements inside Afghanistan for a period of three years,” the spokesman said.
The international community was asked to support Afghanistan in its endeavors for the reintegration of the displaced population through robust development interventions, particularly in the area of return.
Upcoming conferences in New York and Brussels will provide appropriate platforms to highlight the protracted Afghan refugees; issue and the need for its resolution.
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