Pakistan highlights Rohingya refugees issue at UNHCR Executive Committee

GENEVA, Switzerland, Oct 03 (INP): Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Lt. Gen (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch, while delivering Pakistan’s statement at the 68th Meeting of the UNHCR Executive Committee at Geneva on Tuesday highlighted the issue of five million Rohingya refugees.

Lt. Gen (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch said that it is a fact that 86% of refugees are hosted in developing countries, including Pakistan. Emerging and protracted forced displacements at such a large scale create political, socio-economic, security and environmental challenges and difficulties for host countries.

The Minister presented the stance of Pakistan that root causes of displacement need to be addressed on priority basis. While highlighting the stance of Pakistan, he said that there is a need for devising a comprehensive burden sharing mechanism to address the issues of refugees all over the world.

He also highlighted the efforts of Pakistan with unparalleled generosity and hospitality in hosting Afghan refugees for over 38 years but Pakistan have not received due recognition for this immense public good. The Government of Pakistan is committed to voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees in safety and with dignity. Currently, the Government stakeholders are effectively carrying out the implementation of the Afghan Management and Repatriation Strategy, approved by the Government earlier this year.

Lt. Gen. Abdul Qadir Baloch also appreciated the efforts of UNHCR in the enhancement of voluntary repatriation grant from US $ 200 to 400 during 2016 helped returnees anchor in Afghanistan. But, also cautioned against cut in any repatriation grant and also made it cleared that local integration is NOT considered or supported by Pakistan. Pakistan has always supported and shall continue to support all efforts to ensure peace and prosperity in Afghanistan. A stable and prosperous Afghanistan is in our own national interest.