The Chief Executive Meets with Representatives of Afghan Refugees in Pakistan

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan today met with representatives of the Afghan refugees in Pakistan at the Sapidar Palace.

During the meeting, the Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan shared their challenges with the Chief Executive.

Refugees’ representatives called for a permanent and widespread peace in Afghanistan and urged the government to talk with Pakistani officials to distribute ID cards for the Afghan refugees.

They spoke of the interest of a large number of refugees to return to Afghanistan and urged the government to create job opportunities for the Afghan returnees.

The delegates addressed the problems of refugees in education and said that Pakistanis do not give transcripts of grades to Afghan students, who want to return to the country, and that Afghan youths who graduate from Pakistani schools are not given the graduate document; in addition, returning to Afghanistan they are treated unkindly and neglectfully.

Participants at the meeting called for establishment of a school for Afghan students in Islamabad, and at the same time asked the Afghan government to pay salary to Afghan teachers in Pakistan.

Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi, Minister of Refugees and Returnees, while confirming problems of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan, announced the expiration date of ID cards for one million and three hundred Afghan refugees in Pakistan end of 2017.

The Minister for Refugees and Returnees said that soon the exact date of the tripartite summit of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and UN will be set out in which extension of Afghan refugees ID cards and durability of their residence in Pakistan will be negotiated.

Mr. Balkhi announced that a total of 700,000 Afghan refugees do not possess ID cards and said that a working team will go to Pakistan to distribute ID cards to these refugees.

The Hajj's quotas for Afghan refugees on the current year, establishment of an executive committee for returnees and availability of land for distribution to returnees in a number of provinces were issues that the Afghan government, according to Minister of Refugees and Returnees, has done.

After listening to the words of Minister of Refugees and Returnees, Dr. Abdullah delivered a speech and emphasized that leadership of the National Unity Government, given the available possibilities, is working on improvement of the living conditions for refugees.

The Chief Executive called ensuring lasting and permanent peace and stability in Afghanistan and return of refugees with dignity to their homeland as one of the main goals of the government and emphasized that the government helped them in solving their problems in various areas, especially in education, and called formation of executive committee of returnees as part of these efforts to relieve refugees from continuous wanderings.

Dr. Abdullah noted of Afghan refugees’ Hajj quota as the first step, and stated that the Afghan government would provide returnees with accommodation and shelter.

The Chief Executive expressed hope that the neighboring countries, understanding the situation of Afghanistan, would adopt a manner towards Afghan refugees in their countries that would lead to building permanent friendship among people of these countries.

The last word of Chief Executive was about education of children, on which comprehensive attention would be paid in Afghanistan and Pakistan.