The following statement is attributable to the Spokesperson in response to media queries:
“We have seen the press statement by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Illegal Foreigners Repatriation Plan (IFRP) applies to all illegal foreigners residing in Pakistan, irrespective of their nationality and country of origin. The decision is in exercise of Pakistan’s sovereign domestic laws, and compliant with applicable international norms and principles.
All foreign nationals legally residing/registered in Pakistan are beyond the purview of this Plan. The Government of Pakistan takes its commitments towards protection and safety needs of those in vulnerable situations with utmost seriousness. Our record of the last forty years in hosting millions of our Afghan brothers and sisters speaks for itself. The international community must scale up collective efforts to address protracted refugee situations through advancing durable solutions as a matter of priority. Pakistan will continue to work with our international partners to this end.”
Comprehensive Report on Refugees in Pakistan:
Pakistan, a country known for its resilience and compassion, has been a sanctuary for refugees from various nations, embodying the spirit of global unity and shared responsibility. A detailed account of the total number of refugees in Pakistan, their origins, reasons for seeking refuge, the economic challenges faced by Pakistan, and the significant contributions made by both the United Nations (UN) and the international community.
Total Number of Refugees and Their Origins:
As of the latest available data, Pakistan hosts a substantial refugee population, stemming from countries such as Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria, Iraq, and others. According to UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) statistics, there are approximately 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan, making it one of the largest refugee populations in the world. Additionally, there are refugees from other countries, albeit in smaller numbers, seeking safety and security within Pakistan’s borders.
Refugees enter Pakistan fleeing persecution, conflict, violence, and economic instability in their home countries. Afghan refugees, for instance, have been escaping decades-long conflict and instability, seeking safety and opportunities for a better life. Similarly, refugees from other countries have faced various forms of persecution, forcing them to seek refuge in Pakistan.
Economic Challenges Faced by Pakistan:
Pakistan, despite its own economic challenges, has generously welcomed and supported refugees within its borders. The economic burden of hosting a large refugee population has been significant. Providing basic necessities such as shelter, healthcare, education, and employment opportunities to refugees strains the country’s limited resources. However, Pakistan has demonstrated remarkable resilience and solidarity, showing hospitality even in the face of economic constraints.
Contributions of the UN and International Community
The UN and the international community have played a pivotal role in supporting refugees in Pakistan. UNHCR, along with various non-governmental organizations and international partners, has been actively engaged in providing humanitarian assistance, healthcare services, education, and vocational training to refugees. Financial aid, in-kind contributions, and technical expertise provided by these entities have significantly alleviated the burden on Pakistan.
Positive Impact and Coherent Response
Despite the economic challenges, Pakistan’s support for refugees reflects its commitment to upholding humanitarian values. By providing refuge to those in need, Pakistan has fostered goodwill and international cooperation. The collaborative efforts between the Pakistani government, the UN, and the international community have not only improved the lives of refugees but have also contributed to the social fabric of the host communities.
Pakistan’s compassionate response to the refugee crisis stands as a testament to the nation’s resilience and humanity. Despite economic limitations, Pakistan has shouldered a considerable burden, aided substantially by the support of the UN and the international community. This collective effort showcases the positive impact of global solidarity, proving that together, nations can address humanitarian challenges and build a more compassionate world.
Afghan Refugees in Pakistan:
Afghanistan’s decades-long conflict and political instability have led to a significant influx of refugees into neighbouring Pakistan. This report delves into the circumstances that forced Afghans to seek refuge, their entry into Pakistan, the challenges faced, the support received, and the resilient spirit demonstrated by both the refugees and the host country.
Afghanistan has been marred by continuous conflict, including the Soviet invasion, civil wars, and the rise of extremist groups, forcing millions of Afghans to leave their homeland in search of safety and stability. Afghan refugees entered Pakistan through various means, including crossing the porous border between the two countries and seeking asylum in refugee camps. The Pakistani government, international organizations, and local communities welcomed these refugees, providing them with essential services and support.
Over the years, millions of Afghan refugees sought shelter in Pakistan. While precise figures fluctuated due to repatriation efforts and changing political situations, at its peak, the Afghan refugee population in Pakistan exceeded 3 million. As of the latest data available, there are still a significant number of Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan, highlighting the enduring nature of this humanitarian crisis.
Treatment of Afghan Refugees in Pakistan:
Pakistan, despite facing its own economic challenges, has shown remarkable compassion and solidarity towards Afghan refugees. The government, alongside non-governmental organizations and local communities, has provided refugees with access to education, healthcare, and employment opportunities, fostering a sense of belonging and integration.
Hosting millions of Afghan refugees undoubtedly posed economic and social challenges for Pakistan. However, it is crucial to note that the country’s leadership, along with the international community, has managed this burden effectively, ensuring the refugees’ well-being while also addressing the needs of the local population.
The Afghan refugee crisis in Pakistan stands as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of international cooperation. Despite the challenges faced, both by the refugees and the host country, the situation has inspired acts of kindness, compassion, and solidarity. Pakistan’s treatment of Afghan refugees, supported by UN assistance, showcases the positive impact of collective efforts in mitigating the hardships faced by displaced populations. As we continue to work towards global peace and stability, it is imperative to draw inspiration from this example of compassion and cooperation.