ISLAMABAD, June 24: Iraqi refugees who came to Pakistan during the Gulf war about 23 years back held a protest demonstration against the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) here on Monday.

The protesters said because of the double standards of UNHCR, the Iraqi Kurd refugees could no be settled in any country.

They chanted slogans against the UNHCR during the protest outside the National Press Club and said it was only giving preference to Afghan refugees and ignoring the Iraqis. Adnan Noori, one of the refugees, said there were only 25 registered Iraqi refugees in Pakistan.

“We want to be settled in any country in which we can get protection and secured future,” he said.

The refugees said they cannot be settled in Pakistan as Islamabad was not a signatory to the international convention relating to the status of refugees.

“But we can be settled in any other country. However, no one is willing to resolve our grievances.”

Younus Mehmood said they had been facing lots of discrimination at the hands of the UNHCR staff in Islamabad. Local NGOs have been dealing with the Iraqi refugees but because of lack of interest they never bother to resolve their issues.

They also requested the government of Pakistan to help the Iraqi Kurd refugees.

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