Q-4 dialogue on Afghan refugees repatriation to start tomorrow


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is all set to host Quadripartite (Q4) Dialogue on the repatriation of the Afghan refugees and representatives from Iran, Afghanistan, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees have arrived to take part in the talks commencing on Monday.

Minister for Safron Shehryar Khan Afridi would represent Pakistan while Iran’s Deputy Interior Minister Mr Hossein Zolfaghari, Afghanistan Minister for Refugees Mohammad Hussain Alemi Balkhi and UNHCR Director for Asia & Pacific Indrika Ratwatte have arrived here to attend the meeting.

Shehryar Khan Afridi also received Iranian and Afghan ministers at the Islamabad airport. The dialogue could not be held in 2018 as Afghanistan and Iranian representatives were not available.

During his meeting with Iranian Deputy Minister Mr Hossein Zolfaghari, Afridi said that Prime Minister Imran Khan wants Muslim Ummah to stand united and Pakistan is ready to play a bridging role among leaders of Muslim countries.

Welcoming Iran’s visiting minister, Afridi said that Iran and Pakistan were tied in decades-long relationship of friendship, and brotherhood and both countries would rise as robust economic powers.

He hoped that the visit of the Iranian minister will go a long way in further cementing the bilateral relationship.

“We are supporting and facilitating Afghan refugees who have been integrated with society as 68 percent refugees live out of camps and only 32 per cent are in camps.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has allowed 1.4 million Afghan refugees to open bank accounts and join the formal economy of Pakistan and this initiative is unprecedented in human history,” said the minister.

He said Pakistan and Iran share the same religion, language, culture, norms and hence all Pakistanis opened their doors to Afghan refugees.

Expressing gratitude for the warm welcome, Iranian Deputy Minister for Interior said no third party or country can create misunderstandings between two brother countries.

“There are commonalities and shared history. We are working together with Pakistan in hosting the Afghan refugees to help resolve humanitarian issues of refugees,” he said.

Hossein Zolfaghari said that both Pakistan and Iran are hosting more than three million Afghan refugees and both are spending extra funds in hosting these refugees.

“We will share ideas with Pakistan. I congratulate victory of PTI and your appointment. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit was very productive. Our mutual relations have improved of late and are willing to resolve border issues mutually.