afghan refugees

Pakistan asks US, UNHCR for early repatriation of Afghan refugees

ISLAMABAD: The United States and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) should lend their support to address the early repatriation of Afghan refugees.

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry told US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson Pakistan wanted the return of refugees to take place with dignity and honour.

The foreign secretary underlined Pakistan’s focus on effective border management between Pakistan and Afghanistan border with a view to enhance security and counter-terrorism efforts.

In this regard, he apprised the US side regarding the creation of a high-level consultation mechanism between Pakistan and Afghanistan to address border management and related security issues.

On Afghan reconciliation, Chaudhry reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) as an effective forum to facilitate Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process.

Ambassador Olson appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan. He stated that the US supported Pakistan’s efforts on border management. He underlined the need for creating pull factors for sustainable repatriation of Afghan refugees.

The US official expressed appreciation for continued close cooperation between Pakistan and the United States on issues of mutual interest. He mentioned that Pakistan’s successes in counter-terrorism operations and stabilization of the economy were remarkable. He also congratulated Pakistan for significant reduction in polio cases.

Both sides agreed on continued constructive engagement between Pakistan and the United States in the areas of trade, investment, education, health and energy.

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