Pakistan

UN High Commissioner for Refugees praises Pakistan effort for hosting refugee population

ISLAMABAD: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, called on Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, at the Foreign Office today.

António Guterres is on a 3-day ‘Ramazan Solidarity’ visit to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan from 22-24 June 2015.

During the meeting, issues related to Afghan refugees in Pakistan and their voluntary repatriation back to their homeland were discussed.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees acknowledged the efforts of Pakistan for hosting the world’s largest refugee population for more than three decades.

In response, Sartaj Aziz also appreciated UNHCR’s continuous engagement with Pakistan over return of Afghan refugees. The Adviser underscored the importance of creating pull factors inside Afghanistan and suggested that UNHCR, supported by the International community, should assist the current Afghan Government in creating pull factors inside Afghanistan, which would be helpful in the reintegration of Afghans returning from Pakistan.

In this regard, both felt a strong need for donors to provide immediate, tangible and concrete support for reintegration activities inside Afghanistan. It was also agreed that with the peaceful transition in Afghanistan and the commitment shown by the current dispensation, time for successful repatriation and reintegration of Afghan refugees was more than ever.

This is Guterres’ sixth visit to Pakistan since his appointment as the High Commissioner for Refugees by the General Assembly in 2005.

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