UN underscores need for continued int’l support to Pakistan for helping Afghan refugees

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 21 (APP):A U.N. spokesman has urged the international community to continue helping Pakistan, which has been shouldering the burden of caring for millions of Afghan refugees over the past 40 years.

“This is not solely Pakistan’s responsibility; the international community needs to help,” Spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters at the regular noon briefing at UN Headquarters in New York on Thursday.

The spokesman, who was answering a question from a Pakistani journalist, said that part of the reason for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ visit to Pakistan was to bring attention to the plight of the Afghan refugees.

During his four-day visit to Pakistan last week, the UN chief attended a two-day international conference marking 40 years of Afghan refugees’ presence in the country.

“I think he (UN chief) honoured the generosity of the people and government of Pakistan over these decades who have welcomed these Afghan refugees, but this is not solely Pakistan’s responsibility,” the spokesman said.

The international community, he said, needs to support the efforts to support these refugees, as help was needed for refugees throughout the world.

“The best way to help the Afghan refugees in Pakistan would be to find peace–a durable and just peace in Afghanistan,” Dujarric added.