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Accept new Afghan refugees: UN to Pakistan

18 Sep 2021 - 12:39
18 Sep 2021 - 12:39

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi has urged Pakistan to accept a new influx of refugees from Afghanistan.

If sent back due to the lack of documentation, the new Afghan refugees could be at risk, warned the top UNHCR official.

The Italian diplomat told reporters on the future was full of uncertainties and risks, but the international community continued to engage with The Taliban.

Through engagement with the new Afghan government, he added, the world wanted to go forward and save Afghanistan and the region from disaster.

There had been no major refugee outflow but some Afghans had come to Pakistan and they might have specific needs, the UN official said.

Grandi said he fully understood the position of the Pakistan government, which had so many refugees for the past 40 years.

The security situation in Afghanistan was improving and UNHCR would be able to scale up humanitarian assistance if the organisation was adequately supported and resourced, he continued.

“We hope the new administration is united and that they do not have divisions among themselves. Otherwise, it will be a factor of destabilisation,” he warned.

At meetings with Pakistani officials in Islamabad, he said they evolved to do everything possible inside Afghanistan to avoid the collapse of the country.

Afghanistan should not be abandoned, he stressed, saying the situation was very different from the 1990s when Afghanistan was left high and dry after the Soviet withdrawal.

Grandi claimed: “Now there is a realisation that leaving it on its own will spell a disaster, first of all for Afghans, then for neighbours and then for the region and beyond.”

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