UN High Commissioner for Refugees calls on Finance Minister

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Governor Punjab calls on Finance Minister

ISLAMABAD, June 22 (APP): United Nations (UN) High Commissioner
for Refugees, Fillippo Grandi called on Federal Minister for
Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here on Wednesday.
Minister for States and Frontier Regions Lt. Gen. ® Abdul
Quadir Baloch was also present during the meeting.
Mr. Grandi conveyed his best wishes for speedy recovery of the

Prime Minister to the Finance Minister, said in statement issued by
Ministery for Finance here on Wednesday.

Ishaq Dar thanked the High Commissioner and assured
him that his best wishes would be conveyed to the Prime Minister.
The Finance Minister welcomed the guest and appreciated the
continued support of the UNHCR in handling the refugee situation in
the presence of around 2.5 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan for
over three decades now.

Mr.Grandi stated that the purpose of his visit at the time
of World Refugee Day was to highlight the significance and
contribution of Pakistan to the refugee issue, which is a global
concern.

He discussed with the Finance Minister the recent World
Refugee situation and stated that Afghan Refugees are an unresolved
issue for the government of Pakistan for a long time and UNHCR has
continued to extend support to the Government of Pakistan in this
regard.

He apprised the Minister of his discussions with Afghan and
Iranian officials with a view to chalk out a plan for the
repatriation of the displaced Afghan people.

He also stated that UNHCR had doubled the amount of cash
assistance for voluntarily returning Afghans.

The Finance Minister, stated that Pakistan had borne the brunt
of the global war on terrorism and the economy had suffered huge
losses during the last many years.

He said that Pakistan had also hosted more than 3 million
refugees for more than 3 decades.

Finance Minister said the country is also single handedly
managing the resources for operation Zarb e Azb against the
militants as well as meeting the financial requirements of the
internally displaced families.

He said that with the presence of an elected government in
Afghanistan, the situation for repatriation of Afghan refugees
should improve.

The international community also needs to play its due role in
ensuring that conducive atmosphere is created in Afghanistan for
voluntary return of Afghan refugees, he said.

Dar said the government of Pakistan is fully committed to a
solution strategy for Afghan Refugees which we want UNHCR to help
implement.

The participants of the meeting agreed that a time bound
action plan agreed by Afghanistan, UN and the International
community for the safe return of the Afghan population needed to be
chalked out.

The action plan should link disbursement of financial
resources with clearly stated performance benchmarks.

The international community must play its due role, as peace
and prosperity in Afghanistan is in the interest of everyone.

The UN High commissioner assured the Finance Minister of his
continued support on the issue of Afghan Refugees and also invited
Pakistan to participate in “Migrant and Refugee Summit” to be held
in September in New York this year.