‘Regional peace can resolve Afghan refugees’ issue’ | Pakistan Today

‘Regional peace can resolve Afghan refugees’ issue’

PESHAWAR – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain has urged the need to make the regional law and order atmosphere conducive and rehabilitate the affected socio-economic infrastructure which can ensure settlement of the Afghan refugees’ issue.
“We endorse the decision of allowing the registered Afghan refugees to stay here till December 2012, but permitting them permanent settlement is possible,” remarked Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain while talking to Pakistan Today after chairing a high-level meeting regarding the management and repatriation strategy of Afghan refugees.
Provincial ministers; Arshad Abdullah, Sitara Ayaz, UNHCR country head, Mengesha Kebede, joint secretary SAFRON, provincial secretaries for information, home, FATA and representatives of police, Frontier Corps and FIA were also present on this occasion.
Iftikhar reminded that instability, crises and violence in Afghanistan were the major reasons, forcing its citizens to stay in Pakistan. In this connection, he said global community, in general, and partners in war on terror must evolve a strategy for the return of peace and an end to violence and terrorism. A strategy has already been approved by the tri-partite commission and now the provinces are being consulted to discuss ways and means for its execution.
According to the strategy, all registered Afghan refugees will have to go back to their motherland by December 2012 next and those reluctant to be repatriated must fulfill Pakistani laws. At the very outset of the meeting, Mengesha Kebede thanked Pakistan for hosting millions of Afghan refugees on their soil and extending all kinds of basic facilities to them.
He said UNHCR had mobilised additional support for local communities in Pakistan that were generously hosting millions of Afghan refugees for the last three decades. The UNHCR country head said during this year projects worth 8.5 million US dollars for infrastructural development, water and sanitation, health and education had been initiated in the affected areas.
Mian Iftikhar urged international donor agencies to consider Afghan refugees as refugees and provide them with health, education and other basic amenities of life.

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