Pakistan urged to prioritise safe resettlement of Afghan refugees

Afghan families

WASHINGTON: The US State Department has issued a call to Pakistan, urging the country to prioritise the secure and efficient resettlement of Afghan refugees and asylum seekers. The plea comes amid growing concerns that hurried or unscrupulous deportations could pose a significant threat to the lives of these vulnerable individuals, Dawn news reported.

During a news briefing on Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller underscored the primary concern for the safety of those considered vulnerable and at risk. Emphasising shared responsibility in addressing the refugee crisis, Miller stressed the necessity for collaborative efforts to navigate the complexities of resettlement.

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“We believe it is in both our countries’ interest to ensure the safe and efficient resettlement of refugees and asylum seekers,” stated Miller, highlighting the importance of a joint commitment to this cause.

He further expressed the State Department’s position, saying, “We join all of our partners in urging all countries, including Pakistan, to uphold their respective obligations in the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. We strongly encourage all of Afghanistan’s neighbors to allow entry for Afghans seeking international protection and coordinate with international humanitarian organisations to provide assistance.”

Of particular concern to the US is the safety of individuals awaiting American visas. However, Miller conveyed that Pakistan has given assurance to Washington that it will not deport the 25,000 Afghan refugees who are awaiting their US visas. The assurance aligns with the broader call for ensuring the well-being of those seeking refuge and international protection.

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