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UN chief hails Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace

UN chief hails Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace

Feb 17, 2020 - 08:32

PESHWAR (Pajhwok): The United Nations secretary-general has hailed Pakistaninfo-icon's efforts to facilitate the Afghan peace process and repatriation of refugees.

At a joint news conference with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad on Sunday, Antonio Guterres said Islamabad was playing a leadership role in facilitating the Afghan reconciliation process.

He also commended the Pakistan government and people for their generosity in hosting millions of Afghan refugees for decades despite inadequate international assistance.

Both officials called for the successful repatriation of Afghan refugees. They said it was important to have a roadmap and create a "pull effect".

They asked the global fraternity to help create a safe and enabling environmentinfo-icon for the refugees to return home.

The secretary general emphasised on a negotiated political solution and a permanent ceasefire for achieving lasting peace in Afghanistaninfo-icon.

For his part, Qureshi said they had agreed on a time-bound roadmap for the repatriation of Afghan refugees with the assistance of the international community.

He reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for peace in Afghanistan, saying stability in the neigbouring country was vital to regional stability.

Qureshi claimed Pakistan was currently seen as part of the solution, unlike yje past perception of it being part of the problem.

Hours after his arrival in Islamabad on Sunday, the United Nations secretary-general met a delegation of Afghan refugees.

During his four-day visit to Pakistan, Guterres is scheduled to attend an international conference on Afghan refugees today and meet host leaders.

Guterres, after meeting, called Pakistan one of the largest refugee-hosting nations around the worldinfo-icon. He tweeted: "My first meeting in Pakistan: generations of Afghan refugees shared their deeply moving stories, hopes & dreams."

He wrote: "For 40 years, Pakistan has sheltered Afghan refugees. I urge the world to support host countries and show similar leadership in standing #WithRefugees."

About 2.7 million refugees are presently residing in Pakistan, with 2.4 million registered refugees affected by the war, he said. Representatives from Afghanistan, Yemen and Tajikistan were part of the delegation.



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