Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah at a ceremony on World Refugee Day said that leaving the country is not a solution for the problems facing by Afghans but he added that it is hard to understand the situation of every family, considering the circumstances on the ground.
Figures show that up to 2.7 million Afghan refugees are living in Pakistan while three million others are living in Iran. However, figures by the International Organization for Migration indicate that the return of Afghan refugees from Iran and Pakistan has increased in recent months.
“It is hard to understand everyone’s situation,” Abdullah said, referring to Afghans’ decision to leave the country in search of a safe and better life.
Abdullah said that a peaceful and secure situation, access to education, job and healthcare are the demand of every Afghan migrant who returns to the country.
He said that a number of meetings have been held on safe and honorable repatriation of Afghan refugees from neighboring countries.
“The refugees’ issue does not only belong to the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation; it is the responsibility of all of us,” he said. “The people of Afghanistan will overcome the tough days and will have a better future.”
Abdullah thanked Pakistani people for hosting Afghans in the past four decades and treating them “humanely” and said Afghans will not forget this.
This comes as Afghanistan, Pakistan and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have unanimously agreed on a joint 12-point declaration aimed at the “safe and honorable” repatriation of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan for the past four decades, according to Pakistan media reports.
Quoted by Anadolu news agency, a member of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's cabinet said on condition of anonymity that the government had, in principle, decided to extend the stay of Afghan refugees in Pakistan until June 2020.
The legal stay of 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees would end June 30 under the current plan.