ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: In his message on the World Refugee Day being observed on Saturday, the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that the Day is a yearly reminder of the importance of peace, prevention and resolution of conflicts that are the main reasons for the forced displacement of millions of people from their homes.
The foreign minister said that “This year, the devastating impact of COVID-19 has compounded the vulnerabilities of those already displaced by violence and conflicts.
Today, more than ever, reaffirmation of global support to refugees and host communities as a shared responsibility and a global response that commensurates with the fiscal needs of large refugee-hosting countries, is imperative.
Over the past 40 years, the people of Pakistan have demonstrated exemplary generosity, solidarity, and compassion in hosting millions of Afghan refugees.
These humane values have shaped Pakistan’s inclusive policies in public health, education, livelihoods, and social mobility.
Our COVID-19 response has been inclusive wherein our health and other services are being utilized by Afghan refugees without any discrimination.
Pakistan has led efforts in advocacy, awareness-raising, and good practices in caring for and protecting one of the largest protracted refugee populations in the world.
Prime Minister Imran Khan co-convened the first Global Refugee Forum (GRF) in Geneva in December 2019.
In February 2020, Pakistan hosted an International Afghan Refugee Conference in Islamabad to mark 40 years of Afghan refugees’ presence in the Country and seeking to find durable solutions to the Afghan protracted refugee situation.
Pakistan values the commendable work of UNHCR for refugees worldwide and looks forward to the positive response to the UNHCR’s appeals for Afghan refugees and host communities in Pakistan.
On this Day, Pakistan renews its call for adherence to the principle of global burden and responsibility sharing, commitment to pursuing durable solutions, and an early peaceful settlement in Afghanistan that paves the way for time-bound, gradual, well-resourced and mutually agreed framework for the repatriation of Afghan refugees to their homeland.”