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UN refugee chief discusses Afghan refugee situation with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz

Immigration News

Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmatihttps://www.khaama.com
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati

Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, who arrived in Pakistan two days ago, met with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of Pakistan to discuss the situation of Afghan refugees hosted by the country.

Mr.Grandi wrote on his social media platform X, “@CMShehbaz, thank you for inviting me to discuss the situation of Afghan refugees hosted by Pakistan — and the need to find just, durable solutions to this issue with the support of the international community.”

According to Pakistani media reports, the High Commissioner met with Ishaq Dar after meeting with Afghan migrants.

Mr. Grandi has described the purpose of his short visit to Pakistan as “supporting migrants.”

Further details of their meeting have not been disclosed, but Geo News reported that Mr. Grandi expressed his concerns about the migrants’ situation to IshaqDar.

Last year, the Pakistani government initiated a controversial plan to expel Afghan migrants in three phases, potentially affecting nearly 2 million refugees.

According to Anadolu Agency, citing Pakistani officials, since the Taliban took control in August 2021, approximately 700,000 Afghan refugees seeking asylum have entered Pakistan. However, only 75,000 have relocated to other countries so far.

The media also reported that Qaiser Afridi, spokesperson for the UNHCR, stated that during his meeting with Grandi, the Pakistani Foreign Minister emphasized the need for increased support to address Afghan migrants in Pakistan.

Filippo Grandi has opposed Pakistan’s government decision for forced mass expulsion of illegal migrants, stating that “return must be voluntary and free from any pressure.”

It’s worth noting that this is Filippo Grandi’s first visit to Pakistan as the head of UNHCR following the Pakistani government’s decision to prioritize the forced expulsion plan for migrants.

Grandi’s visit underscores the critical humanitarian concerns regarding Afghan migrants in Pakistan and highlights the importance of international cooperation and voluntary solutions in addressing refugee challenges. His discussions with Pakistani officials indicate ongoing dialogue to find humane solutions amidst complex regional dynamics.

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