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Wednesday July 24, 2024

PM urges world to recognise Pakistan's burden of hosting Afghan refugees

Premier notes Pakistan hosted Afghan refugees with exemplary respect despite numerous challenges

By APP
July 09, 2024
Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif addresses the budget session of the National Assembly in Islamabad on June 28. — Online
Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif addresses the budget session of the National Assembly in Islamabad on June 28. — Online 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday urged the international community to recognise Pakistan's burden of hosting a large Afghan refugee population and demonstrate collective responsibility.

The premier made these remarks while speaking during a meeting with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi at the PM House in Islamabad. 

The UN high commissioner is on a three-day official visit to Pakistan from July 7-9. 

During the meeting, PM Shehbaz reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to address the protection and safety needs of people in vulnerable situations. 

He also underscored that the international community needed to be mindful of the socio-economic challenges and security threats being faced by Pakistan in this regard. 

While recalling Pakistan’s longstanding partnership with UNHCR, the prime minister appreciated the UN agency’s support to Islamabad in hosting Afghan refugees for over four decades. 

He noted that despite numerous challenges, Pakistan had hosted Afghan refugees with exemplary respect and dignity.

PM Shehbaz sought UNHCR’s support in mobilising adequate resources to supplement Pakistan’s efforts, urging the UN body to play its role in promoting durable solutions to address the situation of Afghan refugees, including through safe and dignified return and reintegration in their homeland, as well as third-country relocation.

The UN high commissioner expressed gratitude for Pakistan’s generosity and hospitality in hosting millions of Afghan refugees for the past many decades and assured that UNHCR would continue to work closely with Pakistan to fulfill the basic needs of the Afghan refugees.