Pakistani PM to attend global forum on refugees in Geneva

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ISLAMABAD, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) — Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will participate in an international conference on refugees in Geneva, Switzerland, which will officially commence on Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan said on Monday.

The first-ever Global Refugee Forum (GRF) has been convened in recognition of exemplary role for the protection and well-being of refugees by several countries including Pakistan, the ministry said in a statement.

The GRF will be jointly hosted by the UN Refugee Agency and the government of Switzerland on Dec. 17-18, 2019.

Khan, along with leaders from other countries, have been invited to co-convene the forum and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will also address the forum, according to the statement.

The forum is expected to galvanize political support and solidarity and broaden the base of commitments from states, international organizations, private sectors and civil society to deal with the growing number of refugee situations across the world, the Foreign Ministry said.

Khan will articulate Pakistan’s perspective, experience and contribution to the Afghan refugees, according to the statement.

“Co-convening of the GRF is recognition of Pakistan’s generosity, humanitarian leadership, and compassion of the people of Pakistan towards their Afghan brothers and sisters for the past 40 years,” the ministry said.

The prime minister, during his stay in Geneva, will also have bilateral interaction with his counterparts and with the UN leadership.

Pakistan still hosts nearly 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees, according the UN Refugee Agency. Besides registered refugees, Pakistan also hosts about 1 million refugees who have not been registered.

Pakistan has issued Proof of Registration (PoR) cards to the registered Afghan refugees, who can live legally in the country. The government has extended their stay in Pakistan until June 30, 2020.

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