ISLAMABAD: The United Nations would continue to play its role to strengthen the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) after the scheduled drawdown of the allied forces from the country, a top United Nations diplomat told Daily Times on Thursday.
United Nations Assistant Secretary General (ASG) for Humanitarian Affairs/Deputy Humanitarian Chief Kyunh-wha Kang said that the UN and humanitarian partners require $250 million for the provision of adequate humanitarian assistance to one million people displaced in Pakistan’s north-west. “The UN and the international community would continue to monitor the situation and play their role in Afghanistan in the post-withdrawal period that is essential to bring peace and stability in the region,” said Kang, in a conversation with this correspondent ahead of the completion of her three-day humanitarian mission to Pakistan, on Thursday.
She was responding to related queries concerning respective humanitarian issues in Pakistan and Afghanistan. “The international humanitarian community has an important role, a responsibility as far as Afghanistan is concerned. I was there in Afghanistan before coming to Pakistan and there was a lot of discussion regarding the future of the country in post-pullout period. I can say that the international humanitarian community is well aware of its responsibilities and it will play its part.”
In a linked development, the Foreign Office on Thursday slammed the UN agencies for running what it alleged was a fake polio campaign in Abbottabad. “We have been pointing out to the WHO (World Health Organisation) the difficulties we face which include the security situation in certain pockets, the threat of terrorism, attacks on polio workers, also excessive focus on one type of vaccination i.e. polio, while children require a cluster of nine vaccines. This created some doubts about the agenda of vaccination among people. On top of that, a fake campaign of vaccination was conducted in Pakistan in which the UN agencies were also used. I am referring to Dr Shakeel Afridi’s case. This further reinforced the negative perception about the agenda behind the polio eradication campaign. We have been trying to overcome that,” the FO spokesperson told a weekly press briefing.
The UN ASG, when asked about the serious security threats to the humanitarian workers in discharge of their duties in the context of repeated attacks on polio personnel as well as the strict recommendations devised by the WHO for Pakistani travellers (flying abroad), said, “The humanitarian workers being repeatedly targeted by the non-state elements or the militants is just unacceptable. The WHO recommendations on ensuring polio vaccination for Pakistani travellers raises awareness about the seriousness of the situation. They significantly help to combat the menace of polio in Pakistan.”
Regarding around 1.6 million registered Afghan refugees who are sheltering in Pakistan and assisted by the UN refugee agency, the envoy stressed that the repatriation of the registered Afghan refugees should be voluntary, dignified and safe as envisaged in a tripartite agreement on Afghan refugees repatriation signed by Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees (UNHCR).
Earlier, addressing a press briefing, the UN ASG said an estimated $250 million were needed to continue providing for over one million displaced people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA. Of them, she said, 76,000 individuals who returned home were also in need of help. The ASG visited Peshawar and Jalozai Camp in Nowshera where some 4,200 displaced families or 32,000 individuals are sheltering.
* Nawaz says his vision for region is of a ‘dispute-free South Asia’ ...