Top Afghan Officials set condition for return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan
ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says Pakistan is pursuing a policy of return of Afghan refugees with dignity, safety and honor.
He was addressing two-day Refugee Summit Islamabad on 40 years of hosting Afghan refugees in Pakistan on Monday.
The Minister said peace and stability is indispensable and Pakistan would continue supporting Afghan owned and Afghan led peace process.
He said every refugee is hoping that peace will restore leading to repatriation.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan hosted five million Afghan refugees and today three million registered and unregistered Afghan refugees are residing in Pakistan.
He said Pak-Afghan relations have provided impetus to host millions of Afghan refugees.
The Foreign Minister urged the world to join hands with Pakistan to provide basic needs to Afghan refugees and enable them to live a dignified life.
He said international cooperation is required more than ever before.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said caring should be a shared responsibility.
He said Afghan refugees are expecting the world to rebuild their country after restoration of peace there.
Speaking on the occasion, Afghan Second Vice President Danish Sarwar said they are thankful to Pakistan for hosting Afghan refugees for forty years.
He said Pakistan played the role of a brotherly country by hosting millions of Afghan refugees. He said we cannot forget as to how Pakistan and Iran opened their doors for Afghan refugees.
The Afghan Second Vice President said his government wants repatriation of Afghan refugees; however, for that, end of the war is imperative.
Addressing the conference UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said for the last 40 years, the people of Pakistan have stood with Afghan neighbors.
He said Pakistan's solidarity to hosting refugees is admirable.
However, he said, generosity does not come without cost, but it has impact on local economy, infrastructure and security.
The High Commissioner said international support to the Afghan refugees remained insufficient. He appealed to donors to lend support for development in Afghanistan.