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PM Shehbaz Sharif urges UNHCR to play its role in repatriation of Afghan refugees

PM Shehbaz Sharif urges UNHCR to play its role in repatriation of Afghan refugees
July 9, 2024 Web Desk

ISLAMABAD (92 News) - Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif received Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), at the Prime Minister’s House on Tuesday.

Recalling Pakistan’s longstanding partnership with UNHCR, the prime minister appreciated the UN agency’s support to Pakistan in hosting of Afghan refugees for over four decades. He noted that despite numerous challenges, Pakistan had hosted Afghan refugees with exemplary respect and dignity.

The prime minister stressed that the international community must recognize the burden being shouldered by Pakistan while hosting such a large refugee population, and demonstrate collective responsibility. He sought UNHCR’s support in mobilizing adequate resources to supplement Pakistan’s efforts in this regard and urged UNHCR to play its role in promoting durable solution to address the situation of Afghan refugees, including through safe and dignified return and reintegration in their homeland, as well as third-country relocation.

While reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment to address protection and safety needs of people in vulnerable situations, the prime minister underscored that the international community needed be mindful of the socio-economic challenges and security threats being faced by Pakistan in this regard.

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. UN High Commissioner Grandi is on official visit to Pakistan from July 7 to 9.