People of Afghanistan have suffered more than any other community: PM Imran

Web Desk
February 17, 2020

PM Imran says entire nation is on the same page on Afghanistan

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Prime Minister Imran Khan. Photo: Geo News screengrab

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said the entire nation was on the same page when it came to Afghanistan as instability in the country was not in Islamabad’s interest.

“It is my belief that the people of Afghanistan have suffered more than any other human community and I pray from my heart that these peace talks are successful,” said PM Imran, in a reference to the ongoing talks between the US and the Afghan Taliban in Doha.

The premier made the statement while speaking at the two-day international conference titled "40 years of Afghan Refugees Presence in Pakistan: A New Partnership for Solidarity" in Islamabad.

“The whole country is on the same page with regards to Afghanistan,” he said, adding previously it was said that the government and the country’s security forces were not on the same page, however, this was not the case at the moment.

The premier highlighted that Pakistan was not seeking peace in Afghanistan because it has been hosting 1.4 million Afghan refugees, but because the people of Afghanistan deserve peace.

The premier also shared that today’s conference was a celebration “because there were not many instances that those who have been refugees have conducted themselves with honour”. He remarked that Pakistan despite its challenges has kept a wonderful relationship with Afghan refugees.

“A remarkable relationship has endured considering the situation that our [Pakistan] economy has faced,” remarked PM Imran.

PM Imran pointed out that there were “no safe havens” in Pakistan, however, he admitted that it was possible that such safe heavens were operating in the country after 9/11 in the refugee camps.

“How is the government capable of checking how militants operate from the camps,” highlighted PM Imran, adding that it was not possible because refugee camps have had a population of over 100,000.

PM Imran told the audience that Pakistan seeks peace in Afghanistan for humanitarian reasons and to bring prosperity in the areas near the Durand Line.

He assured the audience that since coming to power his government has “done everything to facilitate the Afghan peace process”.

'Pakistan responded with generosity'

Earlier, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in his address stated that the people of Pakistan for 40 years have responded with generosity in hosting the Afghan refugees.

“Even though major conflict has erupted in some other part of the world; Pakistan is still the second largest refugee host. I am struck by the extraordinary solidarity and compassion,” remarked the UN chief.

He added that the UN has been proud to work with Pakistan in hosting the Afghan refugees.

However, Guterres noted that international support for Pakistan in tackling this problem was “minimal” compared to the efforts of the Pakistani government.

“The global community must step up,” urged the UN chief.

Earlier, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also addressed the conference. Ministers and senior officials from around twenty countries, who have been supporting the Afghan refugees across the globe and in Pakistan are also participating in the conference.



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