The voluntary repatriation of the afghan refugees is the top priority: Federal Minister

Islamabad: The Federal Minister for SAFRON Engr. Shaukat Ullah Khan has chaired a high level meeting here in his office in Islamabad, regarding the “Afghan Management and Repatriation Strategy.”

On the occasion he stressed upon the expedition of the Repatriation and Management strategy and said, the top most priority of this strategy is the voluntary repatriation of the Afghan refugees till December 2011.

“We stick to our commitment for the voluntary repatriation of the refugees, which is the essence of the strategy. We have handled the Afghan refugees for 30 years, which is the longest period for such a large numbers of refugees, the minister said.”

The Minister said that a misperception is going on that the strategy is meant only for management which is totally wrong. “I request the media, UNHCR and other NGO’s which are working for refugees to communicate to the refugees the AMRs will be implemented in letter and spirit.” The minister clarified;

Earlier, the Chief Commissioner of Afghan refugees Dr. Fida Wazir gave a detailed briefing regarding the Refugees, and said that due to lack of shelter, livelihood opportunities in Afghanistan the Refugees are feeling hesitation for their repatriation.”

The country representative of UNHCR Mr. Mangesha Kebbedi said that he has talked Afghan counterpart and he pledged that the Afghan govt. is working for the rehabilitation of the Refugees. He also said that the mobile voluntary repatriations centres will be established for the facilitation of the refugees. Moreover, along with the repatriation allowance the Refugees will be provided transport facilities.

The Federal Secretary of SAFRON Division, Habibullah Khattak and the commissioners of Afghan Refugees at Peshawar and Quetta were also present in the meeting.

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