PESHAWAR: Deputy Representative of the of United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Iain Hall said that Pakistan was a key ally in dealing with refugees issues and we keep its efforts in high esteem.
Mr Iain Hall stated this while addressing the prize distribution ceremony of the Inter-Club Boys and Girls Taekwondo Championship organized by Directorate of Sports KP and KP Taekwondo Association here at Hayatabad Sports Complex in connection with the International Youth Day Celebration.
He said Pakistan is a key partner as far as services to refugees for Peace Keeping around the world besides it has been contributing valuable services from the last 40-years for the Afghan Refugees and imagine more than 1.5 million Afghanis born in Pakistan.
Afghan refugees are nationals of Afghanistan who left their country as a result of major wars when in 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan marks the first wave of internal displacement and refugee flow from Afghanistan to neighbouring Pakistan and Iran that began providing shelter to Afghan refugees.
When the Soviet war ended in 1989, these refugees started to return to their homeland. In April 1992, a major civil war began after the mujahideen took over control of Kabul and the other major cities. Afghans again fled to neighbouring Pakistan.
A total of 6.3 million Afghan refugees were hosted in Pakistan and Iran by 1990. As of 2013, Afghanistan was the largest refugee-producing country in the world, a title held for 32 years. Afghans are currently the second-largest refugee group after Syrian refugees.
The majority of Afghan refugees (95%) are located in Pakistan and Iran. Some countries that were part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) took in a small number of Afghans that worked with their respective forces.