Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani has pledged to bring back all refugees in Pakistan in the next 24 months, saying it will put an end to allegations the displaced community is a source of regional instability.
Pakistan hosts an estimated 3 million Afghan refugees and has been pressing the need for an early repatriation of the displaced population. “In the next 24 months my priority and goal is to bring back all Afghan refugees in Pakistan,” President Ghani said in a televised speech.
He also promised to make efforts to bring back Afghan refugees in Iran. Ghani was speaking to a gathering at the presidential place in Kabul marking the end of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan that had forced millions of people to take refuge in Pakistan and Iran. According to a report , lack of jobs and basic services, such as health care and education, as well as allegations of rampant corruption in the relevant Afghan ministry discouraged displaced families from returning at the time.
Even those Afghans who did return home, ended up back in Pakistan or attempted to flee to other foreign destinations, it say. President Ghani also disclosed that Kabul will host an international conference on February 28 where it will table a proposed plan to promote peace with the Taliban to end the violence. Pakistan has been hosting three million afghan refugees since decades and now, time has come to repatriate these refugees to their own country in order to defeat the terrorism. Pakistan cannot afford further stay of Afghan refugees. Afghan’s President should take practical steps for the early repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan.
Afghanistan should extend full cooperation with Pakistan in anti-terrorism efforts particularly in the areas of boarder management and refugees repatriation. We hope Afghanistan will move further to extend cooperation in the areas of counter-terrorism, refugees’ repatriation and boarder management. The refugees must be sent back without further delay and Afghan’s government and international community must complete arrangements as soon as possible.