Afridi warns new influx of refugees due to violence surge in Afghanistan
ISLAMABAD (APP) – Minister for SAFRON & Narcotics Control Shehryar Khan Afridi has expressed his country s concerns over the new wave of violence in Afghanistan, saying that the recent rise in violence in Afghanistan may lead towards new flow of refugees into Pakistan.
Afridi expressed these concerns during a meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi at Geneva.
Afridi said that irrespective of the fast developments taking place in Afghanistan, Pakistan would stand by its commitment for protection of Afghan refugees. Briefing the UN High Commissioner on the measures taken by the Government of Pakistan for the well-being and welfare of the Afghan refugees, Afridi asked Filippo Grandi to work on the challenges being faced by Pakistan in hosting the Afghan refugees, said a message received here.
Afridi said that there was a need for the UNHCR teams to reach out to the Afghan refugees staying in refugee camps and provide basic health, education and other amenities.
Sharing his concerns with the UN High Commissioner on Refugees, Afridi said that the decrease in UNHCR allocation for Afghan refugees was a source of alarm as refugees already needed more assistance in camps.
Briefing the High Commissioner on the humanist approach of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Shehryar Afridi said that the premier had agreed to co-convene the Global Refugee Forum (GRF) set for December 2019.
Stressing the UNHCR to accelerate efforts to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees, Afridi said that all stakeholders needed to address the impact of refugees faced by host communities. He urged the UNHCR to highlight the contributions of host countries and host communities through effective advocacy campaigns.
Afridi told the High Commissioner that Pakistan intends to convene a Conference to showcase the 40 years of hospitality of Afghan refugees in February next year and urged the UNHCR to mobilize support for the event.
The minister said that Pakistan did not need any assistance of itself, but the UNHCR must be facilitated to help the refugees with basic amenities. Afridi lauded the engagement of Germany and Italy for refugees cause in Pakistan.
UN High Commissioner Grandi deeply appreciated the hospitality and the leadership of Pakistan in hosting of Afghan refugees. He said that the UNHCR looked forward to welcoming Prime Minister Imran Khan at the GRF due in December.
He hoped that the events like the GRF, launch of Support Platform and Conference in Islamabad would help develop a momentum to garner support for Afghan refugees.