Per­vaiz for peace zones in Afghanistan near­ing Pak-Afghan bor­der

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

photo ISLAMABAD—Min­is­ter for In­for­ma­tion, Broad­cast­ing and Na­tional Her­itage Sen­a­tor Per­vaiz Rashid Tues­day said that peace zones should be es­tab­lished in Afghanistan near Pak-Afghan bor­der so that the peo­ple are not forced to mi­grate to Pak­istan.

He was speak­ing at the con­clud­ing cer­e­mony of a two-day con­fer­ence on “Refugee Cri­sis and its Ram­i­fi­ca­tions for Global and Na­tional Se­cu­rity,” or­ga­nized by South Asian Strate­gic Sta­bil­ity In­sti­tute Univer­sity here.

He said the world com­mu­nity in­clud­ing re­gional states and es­pe­cially in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions should help Afghanistan to build eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties, skills and de­vel­op­ment to the war threat­ened peo­ple.

He said Pak­istan’s fun­da­men­tal pri­or­ity is the early re­turn of Afghan refugees and their rein­te­gra­tion in Afghan so­ci­ety, “for which we need to work closely with the Gov­ern­ment of Afghanistan, UNHCR and other rel­e­vant play­ers”.

He said Pak­istan had main­tained a pol­icy of tem­po­rary pro­tec­tion with vol­un­tary re­turn as the pre­ferred op­tion; how­ever the goal of com­pre­hen­sive repa­tri­a­tion re­mained elu­sive.

Pak­istan had ful­filled its in­ter­na­tional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in good faith by al­low­ing Afghan refugees to live in seren­ity on its ter­ri­tory for more than three decades, he added. He said the whole world was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing refugee cri­sis more se­vere than any­thing it had seen in decades. Al­most 39 mil­lion peo­ple had been forced to flee their homes due to con­flicts or nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, he added. Peo­ple dis­placed in­side their coun­tries face the same hard­ships as refugees but lacked pro­tec­tion un­der in­ter­na­tional law, he said. He said that the world me­dia had failed to cover an im­por­tant is­sue, the ar­rival of Afghan refugees to Pak­istan. Pak­istan has hosted one of the largest dis­placed pop­u­la­tions in the world for a long time.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Fed­eral Min­is­ter for In­for­ma­tion Broad­cast­ing and Na­tional Her­itage Sen­a­tor Per­vaiz Rashid giv­ing away shield to a par­tic­i­pant dur­ing a con­fer­ence on ‘Global Refugee Cri­sis and its Ram­i­fi­ca­tions for Global and Na­tional Se­cu­rity’ on Tues­day.—APP

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