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US to Pakistan: Keep Durand Line open for refugees

5 Aug 2021 - 10:55
5 Aug 2021 - 10:55

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): The Biden administration has urged Pakistan to keep the Durand Line open for Afghan refugees, a media report said on Thursday.

Dawn quoted a senior State Department official as saying: “So, in a place like Pakistan, it’ll be important that their borders remain open.”

The official issued the call while briefing journalists in Washington on the new US refugee admission programme for Afghan nationals.

He said: “Obviously, if people go north or if they go via Iran to Turkey …(they) have an opportunity both to enter the country as well as to register either with the government or with UNHCR.”

Unveiled on Monday, the new programme applies to those who worked on US-funded projects and to the Afghans employed by US-based media or NGOs.

Called the Special Immigration Visa (SIV), an earlier scheme covers interpreters who worked for the US government agencies.

The State Department has also called on Turkey to let Afghans stay for up to 14 months before they are resettled in the United States.

This week, Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf said his country could not afford to accept more Afghan refugees.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, he suggested arrangements should be made to keep displaced Afghans inside their country instead of pushing them into Pakistan.

PAN Monitor/mud

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