President stresses UNHCR’s enhanced role in early return of Afghan refugees

ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain on Wednesday urged the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the international community to playing their role in creating conducive conditions for the early return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan.

The President was talking to Antonio Guterres, (UNHCR) here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, who called on him to discuss matters pertaining to the Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

President Mamnoon said Pakistan had been a patient host to millions of Afghan refugees on its soil for the last 34 years.

He said that Pakistan would continue to work with UNHCR, the international community and the Afghan government to ensure honourable return of the refugees and their sustainable reintegration in Afghanistan.

The President said that Pakistan shares multiple ethnic, religious and cultural commonalities with Afghanistan, adding that peace, stability and development of Afghanistan is in the best interest of the government and people of Pakistan.

He said the successful and peaceful conduct of recent presidential election in Afghanistan was a welcome step forward and Pakistan looked forward to working with the new Afghan leadership for the peace and stability in the region.

President Mamnoon reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process, saying that it was the most viable way to end violence and bring durable peace and stability to Afghanistan and the region.

Neill Wright, UNHCR Country Representative in Pakistan and Indrika Ratwatte, Deputy Director UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva accompanied the UN High Commissioner.

Lt. Gen. (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) and Qasim M. Niaz, Secretary, Ministry of States and Frontier Regions were also present.

Source: APP