Afghan refugees burden on Pakistan’s economy: SAFRON minister

Government of PakistanAfghan refugees burden on Pakistan’s economy: SAFRON minister

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Lt General (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch has said that three million Afghan refugees have been living in Pakistan for decades and now it is time to send them back as they are a burden on national economy.  

“Pakistan wants honourable repatriation of Afghan refugees to their country,” the minister said that in an interview with Pakistan Television (PTV).

The SAFRON minister said that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is providing assistance for only 1.5 registered refugees of the total three million.

The minister said that during the Hamid Karzai government in Afghanistan, no sincere effort was made for the repatriation of refugees from Pakistan. However, he said, current Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has shown some commitment in this regard.

Qadir Baloch said that the international community should acknowledge Pakistan’s services to Afghan refugees and help in their respectful repatriation.

To a question about China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) western route, the minister said that the Pakistan Army had ensured foolproof security of the route where development work was underway.

To another question, he said that some 2.5 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) had been sent back to their native areas and the remaining would also be sent back soon.

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