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UNHCR assures Pakistan of full support in refugee operations

By our correspondents
June 24, 2016

PESHAWAR: A senior official of the United Nations refugee agency on Thursday praised Pakistan for hosting a major Afghan refugee population for over three decades and assured his full support in the refugee operations along with the return process of the internally displaced people.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees to Pakistan, Filippo Grandi, made the remarks when he called on Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra at the Governor’s House. Both discussed matters pertaining to the Afghan refugees in the province and situation in the region, said an official handout.

The matters related to the support and a close collaboration of UNHCR in support of refugee operations and the facilitation of the return of the displaced persons also came under discussion.

Daisy Dell, director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific and Melissa Ruth Fleming, Chief of the Communications and Public Information Service, were also accompanying the high commissioner.

During the meeting, the governor said that the dignified return of Afghan refugees was a priority of the government. He highlighted the steps being taken to ensure the provision of the facilities to legal Afghan refugees and assured that all possible facilities would be provided them.

The governor said there should be comprehensive repatriation plan for Afghan refugees to their homeland. He said that Afghan government should facilitate the refugees in return as it would be helpful in their nation building process.

Iqbal Zafar Jhagra also apprised the UN High Commissioner about the steps taken for the return and rehabilitation of displaced persons in Federally Administered Tribal Areas. He said comprehensive steps had been taken to ensure the successful return of the displaced people and their rehabilitation. 

The governor said peace has been restored in the tribal region with the efforts and sacrifices of the security forces. He said the region was now heading towards phase of peace and development. Zafar Jhagra said that 70 per cent TDPs of tribal areas had been repatriated, adding all the displaced persons from Fata would be sent back till the end of this year.