Islamabad, December 10, 2012 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), Engineer Shaukatullah Khan has said that the incumbent democratic government of Pakistan is determined for voluntary and dignified repatriation of the Afghan Refugees.
In a statement issued here today he highlighted the declaration of the 22nd Tripartite Commission Meeting which was held at Lahore on 7-8 December 2012, attended by the Mr. Jamaher Anwari, Minister for Refugees and Rehabilitation from Afghanistan, Mr. Neil Wright, Country Representative to Afghan refugees from UNHCR and other high officials from both the countries.
The Minister highlighted the difficulties and challenges faced by Pakistan in hosting Afghan Refugees on its territory for more than three decades and emphasised the need to make timely efforts to expedite voluntary repatriation of Afghan Refugees.
He elaborated that both Governments lauded the UNHCR role for its support and commitment in alleviating the plight of refugees. Appreciation was also expressed for notable efforts made in implementation of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) approved by the international community during the International Conference held in May 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland.
He explained that all the stakeholders agreed that the signing of the extension of the existing Tripartite Agreement between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees will be undertaken once the Government of Pakistan has formally communicated its consent. It was also agreed that subject to final approval by the Government of Pakistan, the Letter of Intent for extension of the Tripartite Agreement could be signed by all parties and circulated electronically between the parties, he added.
He said that the all stakeholders have affirmed their commitment for implementing of solutions aimed at a dignified closure to this protracted refugees situation which would help bring stability, security and development in the region.
He said that the all stakeholders were committed to engage in further consultation about an achievable target for the Afghan refugees voluntarily repatriation in 2013 from Pakistan, taking into consideration absorption capacity in Afghanistan and extent of support available from the international community.
The Minister emphasized the need for better coordination among all the stakeholders for the safe and smooth repatriation of Afghan refugees.
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