UN urges Afghanistan to prioritise ‘dignified’ return of refugees

Published April 30, 2014
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres speaks during the launch ceremony of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees in Islamabad on Wednesday. – AP Photo
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres speaks during the launch ceremony of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees in Islamabad on Wednesday. – AP Photo

ISLAMABAD: The head of the United Nations' refugee agency on Wednesday said he hopes Afghanistan will prioritise the “safe and dignified” return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan and other countries.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres told journalists in Islamabad that Kabul had given “little priority” to the repatriation of refugees in the past.

His comment comes as Afghans are in the process of electing a new president to replace President Hamid Karzai.

Since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan, some 3.8 million refugees have returned home. Nearly 1.6 million registered Afghan refugees continue to live in Pakistan.

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