UNITED NATIONS, Dec 8: Pakistan on Thursday proposed that the Afghan refugee camps should be relocated on the Afghan side and a Marshal Plan-like programme be implemented in south and southeast Afghanistan to control the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.
"The international community should seriously consider this proposal which, under the prevailing circumstances, can provide a realistic chance of bringing durable peace and development to Afghanistan," Pakistan's UN Ambassador Munir Akram told a meeting of the UN Security Council convened to discuss the report submitted by the Security Council Mission on Afghanistan.
He lamented that the international community had avoided addressing seriously the issue of Afghan refugees, and pointed out that some "three million of them are still in Pakistan without any appreciable international assistance."
Many complaints regarding illegal border crossing would end if these refugees could be repatriated to Afghanistan, he said.
“Pakistan has proposed that the Afghan refugee camps on the border should be relocated on the Afghan side, and we are planning the return of all refugees within three years to Afghanistan. That should put an end to allegations of cross-border movement. But it is surprising that the issue of refugees does not figure in the report of the Security Council Mission," he noted.
Pakistan also proposed fencing and mining the borders to prevent cross-border movement, but the proposal was not accepted, he said.
“The situation in Afghanistan is dangerous,” he said, adding that the factors causing deterioration of security in Afghanistan included mis-governance, rampant corruption, drugs economy, failure of security reforms, failure of reconstruction and reconciliation, and keeping large sections of the Afghan people, particularly Pashtoons, away from power.
"Pakistan has vital stakes in peace and stability in Afghanistan. Twenty-five years of war in Afghanistan has destabilised our Frontier region, radicalised it and alienated some of the Pashtoons,” he said, adding that if they were to serve the larger objective of bridging Central Asia, South Asia and West Asia, peace and stability in Afghanistan was a must.