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Continued presence of Afghan refugees burden on economy: Sartaj

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ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday emphasized that repatriation of all Afghan refugees was a priority.

Sartaj Aziz has said that for over three decades, Pakistan has shown exemplary goodwill and generosity by hosting millions of Afghan refugees, however this is not workable any more.

He expressed these views during his meeting with UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, who called on him in Islamabad.

Sartaj Aziz said, however, given the immense socio economic, development and environmental challenges, continued presence of Afghan refugees in Pakistan was not a viable option.

The security dimension added to the challenges. It also necessitated more effective border management, he added.

Sartaj Aziz said, given the immense socio-economic, development and environmental challenges, continued presence of Afghan refugees in Pakistan is not a viable option now.

He said the security dimension necessitated more effective border management between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The High Commissioner commended Pakistan’s historic contribution and hospitality in hosting the Afghan refugees for 37 years.

The Adviser assured the High Commissioner of Pakistan’s support and cooperation.

This is Mr. Grandi’s first visit to Pakistan after assuming office of the High Commissioner. He visited Iran and Afghanistan before arriving in Pakistan.

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