World Refugee Day marked with exchange of flowers | Pakistan Today

World Refugee Day marked with exchange of flowers

For the first time since 1979 when millions of Afghans fled their motherland following invasion by former Soviet Union, an exchange of flowers amongst locals and Afghan refugees was arranged in connection with the Universal Refugee Day (WRD) at Akora Khattak area of Nowshehra district on Wednesday.
The event was jointly organized by Nowshera district government, Citizen Rights and Sustainable Development (CRSD) and Blue Veins.
This was the first time that an in activity in relation to World Refugee day was organized in Nowshera that was attended by lawyers, teachers, students, police, representatives of the health, education, TMA and other departments.
Flowers were exchanged by the host and refugee communities at Khushal Khan Khattak Library Hall, Akora Khattak, Nowshera.
The event honored the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who were forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.
Nowshera DCO Ayaz Khan Mandokhel said that the by organizing an event where both communities were present aimed to raise awareness about the 21st century refugee challenge.
“Around the world people are forced to flee their home for complicated and interlinked reasons that include the war, political violence, exclusion and the competition of scare resources in troubled states,” he said, adding that the exchange of flowers between host community and refugees was token of goodwill and pledge of friendship.
Qamar Naseem, program coordinator, highlighted the back ground of the WRD and background of refuges in Pakistan.
He informed the participants about the RAHA initiative. He said the aim of the Refugee and Hosting Areas Programme (RAHA) was to promote regional stability and compensate for the social, economic and environmental consequences wrought on Pakistani communities by the presence of more than three million Afghans over the past 30 years.
“The overall objective of the RAHA program is to improve livelihood, rehabilitate the environment and enhance social cohesion within communities of refugee-affected and hosting areas. Public services will be improved and policies made more effective by strengthening the capacities of the government, community institutions and vulnerable groups. The UN One Program crosscutting issues relating to human rights, gender equality, civil society engagement and refugees will be addressed. Peaceful coexistence between the communities will safeguard a more predictable stay for Afghans until they can return to Afghanistan,” he said.
DSP Samad Khan said harassing Afghan nationals with POR cards was not the government’s policy, but could be individual acts.
He said through the forum, he was informing all Afghan nationals and Afghan representatives that they could contact him in case of any harassment or ill legal detention and that serious notice would be taken of any such act by police.

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