KP governor to Kabul: focus repatriation of Afghan refugees

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Khan expressed anguish at the Afghan government’s move to tempt North Waziristan’s residents to seek shelter across the border in Afghanistan on Friday, saying, “Kabul should focus (its) resources and energies on long-awaiting and honourable repatriation of Afghan refugees.”
“Instead of offering financial and other incentives to migrants from NWA (North Waziristan agency) the neighbouring country of Afghanistan should concentrate on repatriation of Afghan refugees living in different countries of the world for the last many decades,” he said while talking to journalists at the Governor’s House.
Governor Mehtab went on to add, “We feel happy that Afghanistan has the capability and financial resources offering incentives to attract people from other countries to take refuge on its soil, but we believe that instead of utilizing these resources and capabilities on meddling in others’ affairs, it should be consumed on repatriation and rehabilitation of those suffering Afghans currently faced with enormous problems in other countries.”
The repatriation of Afghan refugees should be initiated from Pakistan that still hosts more than two million Afghan refugees who “are taking a toll on our economy, infrastructure and on other fronts,” the KP governor said.
The NWA IDPs were taken good care by “the resilient people” of Pakistan despite many challenges. “We are capable of coping with any crises and emergency situation and history is a witness to it. The nation is standing side by side with the army and the North Waziristan IDPs,” he added.
“With clear directives from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif the army is taking every measure to cater to the huge exodus of internally displaced persons from North Waziristan, Said the governor specially referring to the support extended by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Punjab government in this regard saying that the brave people of the country and jawans would live up to their history and would emerge victorious from these trying times.
About the collateral damages during the Zarb-e-Azab operation, Governor Mehtab rejected the impression saying that the local population was given adequate time to move to safer places before the operation was started.
The Zarb-e-Azab operation was progressing “successfully” achieving its objectives and efforts were on to complete the military operation at the earliest possible to help let the local population return to their native area, he said.
He said that fragmented efforts were made in the past to introduce reforms in FATA but they ended in a fiasco due to lack of proper homework. “It was in this backdrop that FATA Reforms Commission was set up to recommend comprehensive reforms plan for FATA aligned with and reflecting tribal norms and aspirations of tribal people.”

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