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The Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz held a meeting with Afghan Minister for Refugees and Repatriation Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi. Secretary Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Pir Bakhsh Jamali and Chief Commissioner for Afghan Refugees Dr. Imran Zeb Khan were also present. The two sides, inter alia, exchanged views on repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan and their sustainable reintegration in Afghanistan.

The Adviser expressed satisfaction on the Afghan Government’s efforts to develop a comprehensive plan for return of the Afghan refugees from Pakistan.

Reiterating that return of the Afghan refugees was a central priority of the Afghan Government, Mr. Balkhi expressed gratitude for the warm hospitality Pakistan had extended to the Afghan refugees over the past three decades. He informed that concrete measures were being taken to incentivize the return of refugees and their sustainable reintegration in Afghanistan, including allocation of residential plots for returning families, creation of jobs, and microfinance and tax-free schemes, and solicited Pakistan’s support in this regard.

The Adviser reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the principle of voluntary repatriation and emphasized the imperative of close coordination among Pakistan, Afghanistan and UNHCR for devising realistic roadmap and achievable targets for repatriation of the Afghan refugees.

Mr. Balkhi is in Pakistan to attend the 25th Meeting of the Tripartite Commission on Voluntary Repatriation of Afghan Refugees from Pakistan.

10 March 2015

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