PM seeks int'l community's recognition of Pakistan's Afghan refugee burden

PM underscores that world needs to be mindful of socio-economic challenges being faced by Pakistan

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UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi meets Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on July 9 in Islamabad. — APP
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi meets Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on July 9 in Islamabad. — APP
  • Pakistan urges world to demonstrate collective responsibility.
  • PM also reaffirms commitment to address protection of people.
  • Says world should be mindful of challenges faced by country. 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked the international community to recognise Pakistan's efforts in hosting Afghan refugees and demonstrate collective responsibility as the country itself battles with major economic issues. 

The PM's remarks came on Tuesday during a meeting with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi, who is in Pakistan from July 7-9. 

During the meeting, PM Shehbaz reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to address the protection and safety needs of people in vulnerable situations.

He also underscored that the international community needed to be mindful of the socio-economic challenges and security threats being faced by Pakistan in this regard.

While recalling Pakistan’s longstanding partnership with UNHCR, the prime minister appreciated the UN agency’s support to Islamabad in hosting Afghan refugees for over four decades.

He noted that despite numerous challenges, Pakistan had hosted Afghan refugees with exemplary respect and dignity.

PM Shehbaz sought UNHCR’s support in mobilising adequate resources to supplement Pakistan’s efforts, urging the UN body to play its role in promoting durable solutions to address the situation of Afghan refugees, including through safe and dignified return and reintegration in their homeland, as well as third-country relocation.

The UN high commissioner expressed gratitude for Pakistan’s generosity and hospitality in hosting millions of Afghan refugees for the past many decades and assured that UNHCR would continue to work closely with Pakistan to fulfill the basic needs of the Afghan refugees.