Pakistan cannot bear the burden of Afghan refugees any longer: SAFRON


Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), Engr Shaukatullah Khan, has said that the present economic and security situation of Pakistan puts it in a position where it can no longer sustain Afghan refugees on its soil.
“All efforts to repatriate them voluntarily and with dignity could not bring the desired results,” Shaukatullah said while chairing an Inter-Ministerial Meeting on Afghan Refugees Repatriation Strategy on Thursday.
Federal Secretary SAFRON Habibullah Khan Khattak, representatives of law and interior ministries from all provinces, commissioners of Afghan refugees from KP, Balochistan and Islamabad and other high officials were present during the meeting.
The minister said that ever since 2002, over 5.7 million Afghan refugees had voluntarily been repatriated to their homeland. This showed that the situation in Afghanistan was safer and could absorb returning nationals economically, socially and politically.
He emphasized the need to make timely efforts to increase voluntary repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan.
He also stressed on taking a joint initiative for a mass awareness campaign in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, to accelerate the pace of voluntary repatriation and support reintegration.
The minister said that the government of Pakistan had devised a contingency plan, which had been shared with all government stakeholders, for the safe return of all refugees back to Afghanistan by the year 2013.