Int’l community must recognize Pakistan for hosting huge refugee population: PM


ISLAMABAD, Jul 09 (APP): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday urged the international community to recognize the burden being shouldered by Pakistan while hosting such a large refugee population and demonstrate collective responsibility.

The prime minister, in a meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi at the PM House, reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to address the protection and safety needs of people in vulnerable situations and underscored that the international community needed to be mindful of the socio-economic challenges and security threats being faced by Pakistan in this regard, according to a PM Office press release.

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

He sought UNHCR’s support in mobilizing adequate resources to supplement Pakistan’s efforts in this regard and urged the UN body to play its role in promoting durable solutions to address the situation of Afghan refugees, including through safe and dignified return and reintegration in their homeland, as well as third-country relocation.

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 a three-day official visit to Pakistan from July 7-9, 2024.