Nawaz calls for addressing root causes of large-scale displacement of people

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Pakistan will not allow externally sponsored terrorism, threats of destabilization: Nawaz

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 19 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Monday underscored the need for addressing the root causes of ongoing large-scale displacement and forced migration to ensure that the people fleeing their homes do not become victims of xenophobic attitudes and political expediency.

“Unless we resolutely put out the fires that have caused so much suffering, we will not be able to find a long-term solution to this crisis,” he told the UN General Assembly’s first-ever Summit for  Refugees and Migrants.

“We are meeting at a critical juncture, with the number of people forcibly displaced from their homes, reaching a record high and human suffering at an unprecedented level,” the prime minister told heads  of state/government and high-level representatives in the spacious  Assembly hall.

Noting that much of this displacement has neither been voluntary  nor orderly, he said the people had been fleeing from desperate  conditions of conflict, war or poverty. “These hapless people on  the move deserve compassion and humane treatment.”

Pakistan and other developing countries, he pointed out, continued to be at the forefront of bearing the burden of large-scale global human displacements.

“Many of these protracted displacement situations have created  complex political, socio-economic, security and environmental challenges  for host countries and local communities,” the prime minister said.

For nearly four decades, he told the 193-member Assembly that  Pakistan had served as a generous host to millions of Afghan refugees,  the largest protracted refugee situation in the world.

“Despite our modest resources, the people of Pakistan opened their hearts to their Afghan brothers and sisters,” Nawaz Sharif said,  pointing out that the current Afghan refugees totalled 2.5 million.

“While financial support from the international community has waned, Pakistan’s hospitality has not,” he said.

“Pakistan supports the safe and dignified return of all Afghan
refugees to their homeland, in a sustainable manner.

“We count on the active support of our Afghan brothers and
international partners in creating a conducive environment, to achieve  this outcome.

“We hope that the international community will step forward and  provide necessary resources to UNHCR in a timely manner, to support the sustainable return and reintegration of the Afghan refugees.”

Referring to the adoption of the “New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants,” the prime minister said that by doing so, “we are  reaffirming our commitment to refugee and migrant communities across  the world. The challenge now is to translate this noble initiative into reality.”

He said the international community must now forge a comprehensive global compact on the large-scale movement of refugees and migrants; a compact based on fair and equitable burden sharing; that aims to  ensure that the displaced do not become victims of xenophobic attitudes
and political expediency; a compact that provides greater avenues for  legal migration; and takes a holistic view of the situation.

“Today, we have a similar opportunity; to help create a world,  where no one is left behind, in our shared quest for human dignity.”