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Sharif urges support for safe return of Afghan refugees

20 Sep 2016 - 07:18
20 Sep 2016 - 07:18

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said Pakistan’s hospitality remains unchanged despite a sharp decline in international aid for Afghan refugees living in his country.

Pakistan has been host to millions of Afghan refugees for the past four decades, the prime minister told the UN General Assembly’s first-ever Summit for Refugees and Migrants on Monday.

“While financial support from the international community has waned, Pakistan’s hospitality has not. Despite our modest resources, the people of Pakistan have opened their hearts to Afghan brothers and sisters.”

He called for addressing the root causes of ongoing large-scale displacement and forced migration to ensure the people fleeing their homes did not become victims of xenophobic attitudes.

The Associated Press of Pakistan quoted him as saying much of displacement had neither been voluntary nor orderly. People had been fleeing desperate conditions like war or poverty. The hapless people on the move deserved compassion, he remarked.

“Many of these protracted displacement situations have created complex political, socio-economic, security and environmental challenges for host countries and local communities,” Sharif said, supporting the dignified return of all Afghan refugees to their homeland.

He hoped the global fraternity would provide necessary resources to UNHCR in a timely mannerto support the sustainable return and reintegration of the Afghan refugees.”

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